In an effort to keep traffic flowing on Portland's busy Franklin Street, the city will be installing traffic lights with artificial intelligence that will adjust timing based on real-time traffic conditions.

According to the Portland Press Herald, the 10 traffic lights along the length of Franklin Street from Commercial Street to the I-295 ramp will be fitted with sensors that can detect traffic from hundreds of feet away. The system will then analyze that traffic and adjust the patterns of the lights to keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible.

Google Street View
Google Street View

The same system was installed on Forest Avenue last year that even coordinates with the railroad crossings at Woodford's Corner and it has reduced travel time by 23 percent. I've definitely noticed the difference when I drive down Forest and only have to stop at one or two lights at most. At least when construction isn't being done, but hopefully they'll finally get the mess taken care of soon.

The new system will be installed this week and it should take a month or so for the AI to learn the traffic patterns and adjust to them properly. It'll cost the city $775,000 to install but if you ask me, it's money well spent. As long as it works.

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