DOT installs “smart” left-turn signal at Bay Terrace intersection

Photo courtesy of Twitter/@NYC_DOT
Photo courtesy of Twitter/@NYC_DOT

It’s time to get smart about the technology on our streets.

Department of Transportation Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia joined State Senator Tony Avella, Councilman Paul Vallone and community leaders to unveil a new “smart” turn signal and wireless seniors at 26th Avenue and Corporal Kennedy Street in Bay Terrace.

The signal uses roadway sensors embedded in the left turn lane to detect the presence of a left-turning vehicle. The wireless sensor, known as a “puck” for its shape, is drilled into the roadway.

When a car drives over the puck, the sensor surveys traffic in the area and signal is changed (or not changed) depending on traffic conditions.

According to DOT, the sensors are deep enough to survive milling and paving. They’re battery-powered and last seven to 10 years.

“This signal is now activated only when there are vehicles waiting in the left turn lane – if no one is waiting, the left turn phase is skipped,” Garcia said. “That cuts unnecessary delays for pedestrians and drivers making other movements, which not only enhances efficiency, but also safety, since people subject to excessive delay can drive unpredictably.”

Avella said this new on-demand technology should be replicated throughout the borough.

“Combined with the additional safety enhancements that DOT will be installing along the Corporal Kennedy and 23rd Avenue corridor, we have made great strides towards improving pedestrians and motorist safety in Bayside,” Vallone said.

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