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High-tech traffic signals

The City has installed new high-tech traffic signals at the intersections of Santa Anita Ave./Santa Clara (north/south) and Huntington Drive/First Ave. (east/west). It’s one of many City improvement projects underway right now that can be seen by clicking the index of Arcadia’s Best stories in the category of “Getting Around.”

New high-tech signal at Santa Clara Ave. northbound on Santa Anita Ave.

New high-tech signal at Santa Clara Ave. northbound on Santa Anita Ave.

Deputy Director of Development Services Phil Wray said the traffic signals were modified to include a protected/ permissive left turn phase for the major streets, where the left turns get a protected green left arrow, as well as a regular green light.

That means that not only is there a dedicated green arrow for left turns for the first time, but that even after the dedicated green arrow goes off, drivers may still make a left turn on the solid green ball light after yielding to oncoming traffic.

What’s more, these are the latest two traffic signals in town now (there are about five altogether now) that have video cameras built in. The cameras are not there to take pictures and send traffic tickets to drivers passing through red lights. They are the newest technology that will give you a green light if you are sitting in your lane and there are no cars coming the other direction. This used to be done with street sensors but those imbedded sensors were prone to malfunctions due to weather and wear-and-tear, and would then default to the regular timer.  

New high-tech traffic signal at First Avenue heading eastbound on Huntington Drive.

New traffic signal on Huntington Drive at First Ave. provides green arrow and camera-controlled signal phase changes.

While the new traffic signals with built-in cameras are expensive to install — about $25,000 – $40,000 each — they pay for themselves over time because there is less repair required — and they should function properly far more conistentlyreduce.

And yes, they cameras can also be used by the City for other purpose, but so far not for issuing citations.


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