Congressman Mica picks roads for signal upgrades

Congressman John Mica and transportation planning agency Metroplan Orlando have selected 6 roadways for improvements through technology.

Mica says the object is to use already existing devices motorists have like EPass transponders and bluetooth devices in their cars and phones to manage traffic in real time. "We are underway with trying to bring us into the 21st century of technology to move traffic faster and smoother."

Instead of having lights signal timed, they would constantly change 24 hours a day, 7 days a week based on the road conditions at that moment, making it far more likely that you would be able to see more green lights on roads like 441 in Apopka according to Congressman Mica.

"Apopka is going to be 441 from downtown maybe even Osceola County to downtown and possibly not hit a single light now that we will have that technology in place." It is a dream Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer would like to see. "Everybody would like to see the signals coordinated so that when you are driving through town, when you driving through Apopka it would be just nice if it were one smooth ride."

He has another reason for supporting the new transportation technology. The same sensors that would allow lights to stay green could also turn them red when a pedestrian arrives at an intersection. "Central Florida is known as one of the deadliest places for pedestrians in the United States, and so Congressman Mica's idea to bring technology to that solution and help make our streets safer for pedestrians is a great idea in my opinion."

The 6 highways selected for improvement in Central Florida are US 441, US 17-92, Maitland Boulevard, SR 436, Colonial Drive, and John Young Parkway. The federal grants will be handed out in the Fall.