Traffic Management System Helps Alleviate Traffic Issues in Harrisonburg

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- When you're heading home during rush hour or you're stuck in traffic and you happen to notice a change in the traffic patterns, there's a reason.

The city of Harrisonburg has a system set up that can predict traffic patterns through cameras and other equipment.

The Public Works department runs the traffic management system using predetermined traffic patterns and cameras to keep traffic flow normal.

Planner Brad Reed is one of the people who may have eased your traffic nightmares.

Reed is one of the people in charge of monitoring cameras set up all around the city.

"There is a general misconception that those cameras are used for ticketing purposes, they are not, they are used for vehicle detection," said Reed.

If Reed finds out about an accident through V-DOT or Harrisonburg Emergency Communications, he can redirect traffic.

"If there were to be an accident on Port Republic road...we would be able to change traffic signal timings in order to make it more efficient for those people to redirect themselves," said Reed.

His department can also plan ahead for major traffic.

Traffic lights in the city will change quickly or slowly depending on the time of day and the traffic patterns.

In addition to the traffic cameras, there is a traffic box that communicates direct traffic patterns back to the public works department.

The Public Works department has a system that mimics an hour of traffic at a specific intersection.

If there's a light that's not working or any other issue you may notice, they want your feedback.

"The worst thing for us to have someone sitting out there frustrated and feel like they have no outlet through and we're always happy to take a look at issues," said Reed.

They work to change the predetermined traffic patterns every couple of years.

Now, they just got a system where they can log turn patterns.

Before they had to go to the intersection and manually press buttons each time a car passed.

Now they can record video and use a new board to log turns from their office.

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