The in basket: Tom Baker of the city of Bremerton electronics shop has encouraged me for a couple of years to attend a yearly conference of traffic electronics experts and merchants in Seattle. This year I went (it was Feb. 11) and it was a wealth of information.
The first person I talked with in a large room of industry representatives was Mike Singson, who turned out to have been on the phone with Jeff Collins of the Bremerton electronics shop just 20 minutes earlier to answer a question about Wavetronix. That’s the brand name his company, Advanced Traffic Products, uses for an alternative means to detect traffic at stop lights.
It uses radar, and is an alternative to the decades-old technology of in-pavement wires, called “loops,” and the newer cameras you will see on tall posts atop the signal cross-arms at many Kitsap County intersections.
The city of Bremerton will try Wavetronix on three of the four legs of the Warren Avenue-11th Street intersection currently undergoing a major reconstruction.
It and cameras, being installed overhead, have the advantage of being repairable without having to dig up the intersection. Mike Singson says radar is better because snow, fog, heavy rain, glare and other problems don’t interfere with it, as he says they can with the cameras.
This may be the first installation of it in this county.
Gunnar Fridriksson of the city street engineers says, “Yes, we are installing the Wavetronix at 11th and Warren.
“The eastbound 11th Street loops are in the concrete section of the roadway and are working
fine, so we are not going to replace them. The other three legs of the
intersection are where we are going to use them.
“The southbound Warren (loops) were
destroyed over a month ago with work extending the turn lane, so this
direction is already using Wavetronix temporarily. The other two
legs (westbound 11th and northbound Warren) will have their loops destroyed when we
grind the intersection out to repave.
“With the grind, repaving, etc…, we were looking at seven days at a minimum (and
that would, of course, be subject to weather, as well) of having the
intersection run on a timer, which will be tough on traffic.
“The technology has evolved so much with radar detection and the installation of these units have so much less impact on traffic versus
cutting loops in,” Gunnar said, “we wanted to try it at this intersection and
the temporary detection seems to be working perfectly so far.”