Smarter, Faster, Better

Written on 03/10/2018

City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo today announced the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has recently installed “smart” left-turn signals at four additional Mid-Island intersections, with an additional three dedicated left-turn signals expected to be installed in the next month.

Matteo requested these smart signals – which are triggered by a wireless sensor embedded in the roadway to maximize traffic flow and efficiency – as part of his block-by-block, intersection-by-intersection campaign to improve local traffic.

The smart left-turn signals were recently installed at the following intersections:

·         New Dorp Lane and 10th Street

·         Victory Boulevard and Travis Avenue

·         Tysens Lane and Hylan Boulevard

·         Clove Road, Bard Avenue, and Bement Avenue

Additional signals are scheduled to be installed at these locations in the coming weeks:

·         Forest Hill Road and Rockland Avenue, Northbound and Southbound

  • Victory Boulevard and  Bradley Avenue, Southbound and Westbound
  • Victory Boulevard and Manor Road, Southbound and Westbound

 “As the borough’s traffic continues to grow, dedicated left-turn signals are making a huge difference in our daily commutes, easing bottlenecks and improving safety at some of our most congested intersections. Smart left-turn signals – which are easy to install, relatively inexpensive and suitable for many more locations than traditional signals – allow us to take our efforts to fix traffic problems to another level,” said Minority Leader Matteo. “That is why I will continue to advocate for more of these devices as part of my block-by-block, intersection-by-intersection strategy to improve local traffic.”


About Smart Left Turns

Unlike previous generation left-turn signals that are set to timers, smart-left turn signals utilize a ‘puck,’ a small electronic sensor (about the circumference of a hockey puck – hence the name) that is embedded in the pavement. When a vehicle passes over it, the puck sends an electronic pulse to the signal controller that a vehicle has pulled up to the traffic light.

In general, pucks are easier and less inexpensive to install and maintain than wired signals and “loop” detectors.  Once an appropriate road location is found, they can be dropped into a small hole drilled in the pavement, then covered with high-strength epoxy for protection. The pucks contain a battery that can last five to seven years or longer. 

Update on Matteo’s Block-by-Block Local Traffic Improvement Campaign

Of the 36 requests Matteo has made for left turn signals in his district, 19 have been approved. That includes eight smart left-turn signals. These latest four come on the heels of a meeting between Matteo and the DOT late last year, when the Councilman asked agency officials to reconsider their position on certain locations.