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ubergeeknz

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#134030 12-Nov-2013 13:44
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Someone on here must have a good idea on this... how come traffic signals (lights) - which have become so critical to controlling traffic flow and for safety in a lot of cases - do not seem to come with emergency power supply in case mains supply is interrupted?

It seems whenever there is a power outage, all traffic lights in the affected area are also taken out, surely that's less than ideal...

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MikeB4
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  #931433 12-Nov-2013 13:51
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Cost, there are thousands of traffic lights, the cost of adding UPS to these would be huge.

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ubergeeknz

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  #931440 12-Nov-2013 14:02
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I guess that's a factor, but surely when replacing old lights eg. with modern LED ones which use less power, it would be a good time to put in a battery backup?  The incremental cost surely would be negligible?

JarrodM
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  #931447 12-Nov-2013 14:09
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You don't need to worry when traffic lights go down, everyone knows what to do cause they know the road rules. Don't they?



tardtasticx
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  #931448 12-Nov-2013 14:09
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I think it'd be cheaper to teach all drivers how to behave when the lights go down.

The state of some peoples driving around Auckland today was appalling. They behave as if every intersection in the world is traffic light controlled.




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Inphinity
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  #931450 12-Nov-2013 14:13
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tardtasticx: 

The state of some most peoples driving around Auckland today was is appalling. They behave as if every intersection in the world is traffic light controlled.


Fixed that for you... ;)

Even with lower power lights etc, the cost of installing and maintaining a UPS with enough runtime to be worthwhile at every light-controlled intersection in the country would be monumental.

wasabi2k
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  #931561 12-Nov-2013 15:45
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cost/benefit wouldn't stack up.

there is a manual process (traffic cop with hands).

cost of UPS + maintenance + installation vs how often they are actually down...

unless it is a legal requirement why would they do it.

ubergeeknz

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  #931565 12-Nov-2013 15:48
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wasabi2k: cost/benefit wouldn't stack up.


I'd say on major intersections, it really would stack up.  Not necessarily EVERY intersection with lights, but those where there are hazards, or they are very busy/central, maybe it IS worthwhile.  I wonder whether the analysis has actually been done.



jpoc
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  #931693 12-Nov-2013 19:33
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Why not just replace traffic lights with roundabouts wherever possible.

Safer, lower traffic delays, cheaper to maintain.

The safety effect is not just at the junction - there is no tempting green light in the distance to make drivers accelerate towards the junction.

ubergeeknz

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  #931694 12-Nov-2013 19:40
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jpoc: Why not just replace traffic lights with roundabouts wherever possible.


And battery backup is impractical!?

oxnsox
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  #931715 12-Nov-2013 21:02
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ubergeeknz:
jpoc: Why not just replace traffic lights with roundabouts wherever possible.


And battery backup is impractical!?

.... but if I have you the option of putting in some battery backup for the few times a year YOU might need it,
or,
taking the millions of $ it might take and giving you an extra lane or bit of road widening you could use every day. Which would you choose???

gregmcc
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  #931719 12-Nov-2013 21:09
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ubergeeknz: I guess that's a factor, but surely when replacing old lights eg. with modern LED ones which use less power, it would be a good time to put in a battery backup?  The incremental cost surely would be negligible?


it's not about the power usage, it's about maintaining the battery backup, UPS batteries are only good for a couple of years before they need replacing, so factor in replacing batteries at every traffic light every 2 years and it just becomes way expensive

Aredwood
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  #931731 12-Nov-2013 21:26

Definitely don't put battery backup into traffic lights. Alot of the time when the traffic lights are not working I find the traffic flows better. Although most of this effect will be due to the lights not being phased to each over.

Technofreak
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  #931733 12-Nov-2013 21:30
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jpoc: Why not just replace traffic lights with roundabouts wherever possible.

Safer, lower traffic delays, cheaper to maintain.

The safety effect is not just at the junction - there is no tempting green light in the distance to make drivers accelerate towards the junction.


I agree that round a bouts are better................... except when the person at the front of the queue won't enter the round a bout till there is not a car in sight.  Then things get decidely slower.




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Delphinus
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  #931740 12-Nov-2013 21:49
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I have almost always found when the lights go out the traffic flows even more smoothly. People are polite and patient and you hardly ever have a queue. This is not Auckland mind you.

scuwp
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  #931801 13-Nov-2013 07:44
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I am not a traffic planner or engineer, but I know plenty. Roundabouts trump lights every time for safety, however roundabouts also have a limit to the traffic volume they can handle before they become inefficient (i.e. huge delays and traffic jams), they also take up more land which could equal increased capital cost, consent issues etc.

Power supplies these days are for the most part very reliable. Cost benefit for UPS won't stack up at all IMO.









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