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Oklahoma City streets: New intersection management system designed to improve safety

Oklahoma City has installed a new intersection management system that is the first of its kind for the city. It is included in plans to reconstruct a four-mile section of May Avenue.
by William Crum Published: October 13, 2013
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A $3.8 million project to reconstruct May Avenue between NW 36 Street and Britton Road will include installation of a new traffic management system at NW 63 and May.

The system detects cars and trucks and controls signals to keep traffic flowing smoothly.

Oklahoma City's traffic engineer, Stuart Chai, fielded questions about how the system will work. Questions and answers were edited.

Q: What is the Wavetronix system and what does it do?

A: Wavetronix is a radar-type traffic detector being used in place of inductive loops cut into the roadway. Radar-type detectors have been around for a number of years, but this is the first one produced by this manufacturer that the city will be field testing. To learn more, here's the company website: wavetronix.com/en.

Q: How will it improve traffic at NW 63 and May?

A: The Wavetronix radar traffic detector is not invasive in the same way traditional loop detectors can be. Loops are literally wires that are laid in slots cut into the road surface and then sealed. Radar detection achieves this same function but without the necessity to cut anything into the roadway. An advantage of “above-the-road” detection is that it is not subject to damage whenever the roadway surface is disturbed, such as when a street is being milled and resurfaced or a portion of the road is being removed for maintenance or utility work.

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by William Crum
Reporter
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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