Traffic synchronization project in Derby/Wichita seeks less congestion…”Technology is the new common sense.”

Ever drive along K-15 and seem to hit every light on the way?

You’re not alone.

Traffic engineers feel your angst and, in that regard, have embarked on a new project to synchronize the lights along that busy corridor. Formally known as the K-15 Corridor ITS Deployment, the proposed work will retrofit the existing signals along K-15/Southeast Blvd. with a series of new controllers, GPS clocks, ethernet and fiber capable switches and cameras with modem connections. The result will be a smoother – and safer – ride, they say.

Derby City Council member Jack Hezlep, who also sits on the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s policy board, which approved the work, said traffic synchronization is an effective method of having less congestion.

The idea is when you’re going between lights, the next light will be green, which will help “get the crowd through,” he said.

The issue, engineers say, is especially acute during shift changes at Spirit AeroSystems, which has 10,700 workers, making it the area’s largest employer.

The project will run from downtown Wichita to Madison in Derby. In the scheme of traffic road-related projects, at $645,000, this is not a horribly expensive proposition.

Low cost is one of its main attractions, he said. No new roads or bridges need to be built. Nor do any new traffic lights need to be installed. It’s all done by using new controllers, obtaining data, analyzing and employing it to effective use.

“It’s the least expensive way to solve congestion,” he said. “Technology is the new common sense.”

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