New JICA-funded traffic lights going up around city

Source: Phnom Penh Post

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Workers install a new traffic light on Phnom Penh’s Sisowath Quay last week. Eli Lillis

Phnom Penh’s traffic lights will by mid-2017 no longer feature the presently ubiquitous countdown timer, with the replacement of the city’s 69 fixed signals with 100 new models controlled by officials in a central command centre now underway, an official said yesterday.

Workers last week began installing the 100 new signals, which will be equipped with cameras feeding footage back to a control room inside City Hall, a representative of Public Works and Transport Minister Sun Chanthol said in an email.

“The existing traffic signal system . . . is outdated and ineffective as they are isolated signals operating with a single fixed timing plan, regardless of traffic condition especially during morning and evening peak hours,” the official said.

Funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the system is scheduled to go online by May and will allow officials to keep major arteries open longer during peak-hour periods and better coordinate nearby lights, he said.

“Traffic conditions [will be] continuously monitored by vehicle detectors installed at strategic locations in the road network, and signal timing is dynamically adjusted in real-time to make the most efficient use of the road network,” he said.

“At the meantime, we [are] in the process of installing those new traffic lights in some intersections,” he added. “Without waiting for everything to get ready to launch at once, some traffic lights will be up and running without the control room . . . from January 2017.”

The installation began last week, with workers erecting some of the 31 new sets of signals. The 69 existing fixed-time signals will be replaced later, the official said.

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