Metropolis seeks site visitors precedence system for Windsor Fireplace, Transit Windsor

Home general Metropolis seeks site visitors precedence system for Windsor Fireplace, Transit Windsor
Metropolis seeks site visitors precedence system for Windsor Fireplace, Transit Windsor
Metropolis seeks site visitors precedence system for Windsor Fireplace, Transit Windsor

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Officials say a new multimillion-dollar traffic management system will see faster response times for Windsor Fire and Transit Windsor.

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The Environment, Transportation, and Public Safety Commission on Tuesday approved the purchase of a GPS-based system that prioritizes traffic lighting for fire trucks and city buses. This technology, an outdated and unreliable version already in Windsor for emergency vehicles, will cost about US$1.04 million (about C$1.35 million).

“I’m very happy that we’re shifting in that course,” Stephen Laforet, chief of Windsor Fire Department, told the committee. “Our present system – little or no of it nonetheless in operation – could be very previous.”

Laforet said the current system uses technology that relies on strobe light and requires a line of sight between the approaching vehicle and the signaled intersection. Bad weather and dirt buildup can hamper operation.

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“The (current) system was in place before I started Windsor Fire, which was over 32 years ago,” he said. “Moving to a real-time GPS-based system will not only provide health and safety benefits, but will allow us to get to the emergency site faster.

An ambulance leaves the village in St Clair in Windsor.  The long-term care facility has recorded the highest COVID-19 death toll of any single location in the region.
An ambulance leaves the village at St Clair in Windsor in December 2020. Photography by Nick Brancaccio /Windsor Star

Tyson Cragg, CEO of Transit Windsor, said the partnership with Windsor Fire created “a incredible alternative to get this know-how probably a lot before we’d in any other case get.” The traffic light priority system is part of the master transit plan.

“This is all good news for the transit,” said Cragg. “It’s going to maintain buses on time and assist with passenger progress and repair reliability.”

For the Windsor Fire, pass priority is achieved through a proactive emergency vehicle system by holding or pushing a green signal light in the direction the vehicle is traveling.

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Transit Windsor does not currently have a transit signal priority system, but the proposed technology will adjust the timing of traffic lights based on preset parameters, and allow green lights to stay green for “a set variety of seconds” to permit the subsequent bus to come back, town workers report stated.

“This technique permits buses to reach on time, regardless of challenges to schedule adherence posed by heavy site visitors, giant passenger masses, and delays at bus stops,” the report said.

If approved by the council, the new technology will be purchased from Kimley-Horn, the US company that supplied Windsor’s existing traffic management system. Aside from the additional server hardware, the city won’t need to install additional equipment, said Shauna Pukes, the city’s chief operating officer. Instead, the change includes software updates.

In addition to supporting the purchase of both priority transit signal and emergency systems for emergency vehicles, the commission has approved a pre-commitment of C$600,000 in 2025 capital funding for immediate use on the project as well as a transfer of approximately C$100,000 from the project. Matching fund, grants and inflationary pressure.

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