Civic News
Municipal government / Technology

Pittsburgh’s street infrastructure is getting a smart tech upgrade

Over the next two years, with public input, local gov will be updating traffic signals and more around the city.

Pittsburgh, the City of Bridges. (Photo by Flickr user Herbert Spencer, used under a Creative Commons license)

Coming to an intersection near you, the City of Pittsburgh is in for a transportation signal makeover.

With a $28.8 million investment grant award that came from a combination of federal, city and state funding, the Steel City is welcoming the SmartSpines project, which will use advanced transportation technologies to modernize traffic signals. The goal is to improve “safety, efficiency, system performance, and infrastructure return on investment.”

These changes won’t happen all at once. According to the City’s website, the project will happen in three phases over the next two years. During that time, changes will include new vehicular signal heads, new pedestrian countdown signs, and new accessible pedestrian signs.

Drivers can also look forward to smart software implementation such as a cloud-based user priority system for the Pittsburgh Regional Transit Bus Rapid Transit project, an adaptive signal system that detects and optimizes movements on a “per-person” basis, an advanced traffic management system, and an advanced traffic signal performance measures software platform.

The City won’t officially begin the project until this summer, when it’ll start with the area between Downtown Pittsburgh and Hazelwood.

In the meantime, the City will be accepting feedback during specific phases of the project. Are there any intersections where you’ve run into consistent congestion? Do you know of any locations where a new left turn arrow would be helpful? If you’re a pedestrian, are there any intersections that are difficult to cross on foot? Let the City know at its website.

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
Companies: City of Pittsburgh

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