Joburg’s big plan to reduce traffic light downtime

The City of Joburg has launched interventions to combat traffic light downtime at key intersections.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said the city has allocated R6 million to replace cabling at traffic intersections as part of the city’s No Join Policy.

“Until now, we addressed issues of downed traffic lights by joining cables in the event of an electrical fault,” said Mashaba.

Each join in the cabling of a traffic light is an electrical weakness in the circuit that makes it vulnerable to rain, electrical surges, and lightning.

The “no join” policy serves to reduce the number of electrical faults in high-volume intersections in the city, and technicians will replace damaged cables with new cables going forward.

The city’s goal is to roll out this policy across Johannesburg, starting in the 2017/2018 financial year.

Interventions to limit traffic light downtime

Other challenges faced by Joburg’s traffic network include technical electrical issues, poor maintenance, cable theft, and motor vehicle accidents which break poles and cabling.

Mashaba said the following interventions will ensure the reduced downtime of traffic signals.

  • The implementation of a “no join” cable policy at key intersections.
  • Forging closer relationships with power supply utilities such as City Power and Eskom.
  • Enhancing the use of a Smart Traffic System, including remote monitoring of traffic signals.
  • Establishing a 24/7 Traffic Operations Centre to ensure traffic lights can be monitored continuously.
  • Increased traffic light security systems in the fight against vandalism and theft.
  • Supplying mobile generators to power intersections affected by power outages. Interruptions to traffic signals make up 28% of daily signal outages.

“Johannesburg’s 2,135 signalised traffic intersections are vital to achieving the city target of 5% economic growth,” said Mashaba.

“To date, weakness in the transport network and infrastructure is one of the city’s top challenges. Under my administration, this will become a thing of the past.”

Now read: Why Joburg wants free Wi-Fi for all residents

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Joburg’s big plan to reduce traffic light downtime