Going With the Flow | VideoAlex Hagan | 11/30/2012
Bismarck`s roads aren`t up to the traffic standards western North Dakota has set and drivers are now seeing more bumper to bumper traffic in the Capital City.
"It`s gotten a lot more hectic, I think, because of the oil field and basically the population increase has gone through the roof," said Bismarck resident Peyton Martz.
"I live in Mandan so it`s still kind of a trek for me to get into town," said Mandan resident Jessica Woods.
Bismarck`s population is now approaching 70,000 people. The city is using technology to try to keep up with increasing congestion. Cameras have been set up at busy intersections detecting traffic flow.
"It puts a signal into the cabinet and the controller and the controller controls the signal lights and changes the lights from red yellow and green," said Paul Lies with the city electrical department.
The cameras can detect if there are any vehicles turning left. If there are none, the cameras signal the traffic lights to remain green for straight on traffic. The detectors used to be placed under the pavement, however that technology was less flexible.
"You can change the detection zones. You can move them. You can make them longer, wider. You can add them," Lies said.
City engineers have already installed 40 intersection cameras. They say the new cameras helps with traffic problems.
"We can keep the main roadways flowing more evenly and get more efficient out of the traffic," Lies said.
Drivers will be happy with any approach to improve the issue.
"I think if it`s going to help it`s fine by me," Woods said.
Engineers plan to install three more cameras by the end of the year. City Employees say the cost of the cameras is actually much lower than previous methods to detect traffic flow. They plan to install more in the coming years.