New Cameras to Improve Traffic Flow

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MEDFORD, Ore. – Cameras have been installed at nine intersections in Medford to hopefully improve traffic flow and reduce wait times at red lights.

Medford installed adaptive signal timing at intersections along Highway 62 between Coker Butte Road and Highway 238. The system uses cameras to automatically track traffic patterns and adjust the amount of time between red and green lights. The systems at all nine intersections are connected, so if a camera sees a large amount of cars traveling in the same direction, the signals at other intersections can adjust to keep traffic moving. The work is being done to address traffic problems at some of the busiest intersections in Medford, including Highway 62 and Delta Waters Road.

The project is being paid for with a $300,000 federal grant. City leaders said one of the only other options would be to build new lanes, which would cost much more.

“This won’t solve our congestion problem. The only way to do that is to build more lanes,” said Medford City Councilor Daniel Bunn. “But hopefully we can use this grant money to make the time when it’s really congested shorter and to get people through more efficiently.”

The cameras were installed in early May and have been collecting traffic data since then. The system will officially be operational on June 10th.

Drivers should be alert for changes to the traffic light patterns. As the system better adjusts to traffic flow, the timing of traffic lights will change.

“Just because you used to get a left turn after the cars went straight, that’s going to be different, but that’s what makes the system work more efficiently,” Bunn said.

The cameras are not used for red-light enforcement, and will only be used to automatically adjust traffic flow.