North Texas

Fort Worth to Control Stop Lights By Remote Control

City hopes new wireless system will reduce traffic congestion

The city of Fort Worth is spending millions of dollars to update its traffic lights so they can be programmed by remote control – and drivers will see less red.

The city council this week approved spending $1.75 million on wireless devices that will send live traffic data to city engineers and allow them to control the timing of signal lights wirelessly and instantaneously.

The devices will be installed at all of the city's 875 intersections over the next two years.

At many of the locations, the city also plans to install cameras that also act as traffic sensors.

Sam Werschky, assistant director of Fort Worth's Transportation and Public Works Department, said the new system adds high-tech to old-fashioned red lights.

"I think that's going to be the biggest thing, is just having a more intelligent, smarter system that's data driven," he said. "The citizens' frustrations, I understand it. I drive it every day. So anything we can do to help that would be beneficial for the city."

Shaunta Birdwell, who works at a pizza restaurant and drives on congested West Seventh Street every day, said she welcomes the change.

"The lights, they all turn green and red at the same time," she said. "You just have to be patient. And you have to have patience, because if you don't you're going to get yourself in some trouble."

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