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Traffic Signal Cameras

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Traffic Engineering: Traffic Signal Cameras

What They Are and What They Are Not

Traffic signal cameras are being installed at all newly revamped intersections in the City of Santa Cruz. These cameras are solely for traffic detection. None of these cameras record the video.

Prior to this type of video detection the technology of choice was the “induction loop.” These loops are actually imbedded in the pavement. Induction loops are still in use at many of the City’s signalized intersections.

The reasons we have been switching to video detection are lower maintenance costs, there is no disruption to traffic once they are installed, and they provide greater flexibility with lane reconfiguration.

How These Signal Cameras Work
The camera is aimed at a section of pavement when there is no traffic present. This creates an image for the system. When a car, bike, or person enters the image the pixels change and the controller (computer) then “knows” that there is traffic in that direction that needs to be served. The goal is to be as responsive as possible to real time traffic conditions.

They Are Not Red Light Violation Cameras
If the City decides to pursue a change to the current practice, such as installing "red light violation cameras," there would be public process at both the Transportation Commission and the City Council.

If you have any questions about the details of this project please contact:
James Burr
Transportation Manager