VDOT Working to Control Wards Rd. Traffic

Lynchburg, VA - Sitting at a red light on Wards Road in Lynchburg sure isn't fun, but some new gadgets are claiming to make your drive down the busy corridor a little faster.

Its official, high-tech name is adaptive signal control system. Cameras are one part of the system.

A computer is essentially working to decrease back-ups on Wards Road. A program changes the traffic lights.

With the new technology, you could sometimes get from one point of Wards to another without hitting a red light.

Wards Road can often looks like a parking lot with car after car at a standstill.

Drivers like Josh Aikens have nothing but disdain for it.

"Yeah, it's terrible. It's always backed up," said Aikens.

Aikens is not alone.

"Congested," said Kevin Day, another driver.

"I call it the electronic traffic engineer," said VDOT's Gerry Harter.

Harter is also a traffic engineer - a human one - with VDOT. He's behind the idea to have cameras and computers control traffic flow.

"There's a huge difference," Harter said.

And since 11 intersections along Wards got these installed in March, Harter says, so far so good.

"It pretty much syncs up so you can drive through several signals first, if not the entire corridor first, before hitting a red light. So it optimizes the traffic as best as possible," Harter said.

VDOT says it's getting good feedback.

With 35,000 cars taking Wards every day, however, not every driver believes the high-tech fix is doing its job.

"Seems like it's more congested," Day said.

"Doesn't seem like it got any better," Aikens said.

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