333 S. Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371 - 253-841-4321

City of Puyallup

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AI- 3429   15.    
City Council Agenda
Meeting Date: 02/05/2013  
Subject:    Federal Grant Acceptance: Adaptive Traffic Signal Control System
Presenter: Mark Palmer
Department: Public Works  

Recommended Action
Accept a Federal CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation Air Quality) grant in the amount of $233,550 for an Adaptive Traffic Control System Project.
This project will implement an Adaptive Traffic Signal (ATS) system to maximize the efficiency of existing signalized intersections by measuring and dynamically responding to actual traffic volumes on the roadways.

State Route (SR)161/Meridian and the 2nd/3rd Street corridors are one-way streets (note: South Meridian returns to a bi-directional five-lane configuration in its 800 block) which provide access to downtown Puyallup and connect the two regional growth centers of downtown and South Hill.

East and west bound rail traffic bisecting at S. Meridian and 3rd Street SE halt vehicular traffic approximately four to six times daily during peak traffic periods, interrupting the existing signal coordination.  Severe traffic congestion results and the signal controllers require several cycles to resynchronize and alleviate the traffic saturation along these corridors.

Every September, the Washington State Fair attracts over 1.2 million people, resulting in significant traffic congestion.  Year-round other major events at the fairgrounds and elsewhere in the city add to variable traffic flow patterns and cause major congestion along the project corridors.

Adding lanes of travel by purchasing right-of-way along these routes is not feasible, due to existing businesses along these corridors and the exorbitant cost factor.
ATS technology has proven to result in up to an 80% reduction in the number of stops and a 30% reduction of collisions at signalized intersections. This grant will fund improvements at six signalized intersections along the SR161/Meridian and 2nd/3rd Street SE corridors.   

In October 2012, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) Executive Board voted to allocate $233,550 in federal CMAQ funds for the deployment of this Adaptive Traffic Signal System project. Matching funds for this project will be provided by LIFT Grant monies in the amount of 13.5%, or $36,450.

The installation of an adaptive traffic signal system at a total of seventeen signalized intersections along Meridian and the 2nd/3rd Street corridors is expected to take approximately six months. All of the installation will be completed by a selected contractor/vendor using the grant funding. The city’s traffic engineer and signal technician will work closely with the contractor during this period. The selected vendor is expected to provide software upgrades and technical support for the first few years of operation at no additional cost. Thereafter, the city may choose to have a similar support agreement with the contractor/vendor, if needed, for a minimal cost. The potential benefits from safety and travel time improvement along these major corridors would outweigh any minimal maintenance costs associated with the operation of these systems. It is important to note that city staff currently spends several hours each year adjusting the signal timings along these corridors to address concerns relayed by citizens and members of the police department, and to accommodate variable traffic flow patterns during fair and other events. Once the adaptive system is installed, it is expected that the staff time needed to modify signal timings at these intersections would be noticeably reduced.
Previous Actions (Discussions/Presentations)
On July 17, 2012, the City Council held a public hearing to consider the adoption of the City's Revised Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for 2013-2018, which included the Adaptive Traffic Signal System along SR161/Meridian and the 2nd/3rd Street SE corridors. The project is item number 6 on the adopted 2013-2018 TIP (summary attached).

On June 19, 2012, via Resolution No. R-2212 (attached), Council accepted federal grant monies in the amount of $1,330,000 of which $430,000 is earmarked for an ATS project along South Meridian. The "South Meridian Safety Improvement" project is comprised of eleven signalized intersections along the SR161/Meridian corridor between 5th Ave NE and 15th Ave SE.

By accepting this CMAQ grant, the two ATS projects will be combined into one project, benefitting traffic flows along the aforementioned corridors by improving and synchronizing a total of seventeen signalized intersections between River Road and 23rd Avenue SE.
Summary of Proposal
Under this proposal, the City Council will accept a federal CMAQ grant in the amount of $233,550 for the Adaptive Traffic Signal System project. A required 13.5% local match ($36,450) will be provided by LIFT Grant funds.
Council could choose not to accept the grant; however, there is no guarantee that such funds would be available in the future. Rejecting the grant would meant that six fewer intersections would be improved along these vital traffic corridors.

Accepting this grant will allow these funds to be coupled with a previously-accepted WSDOT safety grant, expanding the total number of signals incorporated into the ATS system.

Fiscal Impact
Amount Budgeted:
Bid Amount:
City Funding Needed for Project: None
Funds from Other Sources: See Notes 1 & 2
Ongoing Staff Costs: See Note 3
Fiscal Impacts:
1. Matching funds for this CMAQ Grant in the amount of 13.5%, which equates to $36,450, will be provided by LIFT Grant funds.
2. Previously accepted federal funds in the amount of $430,000, which require no local match, will also be used on this project.
3. It is expected that additional staff effort will be required in conjunction with the selected vendor's staff during the start-up and calibration of the system. Once the system is up and running, we expect a reduction in the amount of time required to meet changing conditions, as compared to non-ATS systems which require frequent modification of time of day programs. Other jurisdictions have noted very little time required to maintain ATS systems, once established.
2013-2018 TIP
Exhibit Adaptive TR Signal Control System

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