If you live in the Seattle area, the likelihood that you’ve sat in what is described as “The Mercer Mess” is great. Mercer Street is one that is the gateway to many Seattle neighborhoods and popular landmarks, oftentimes rendering it unavoidable. But its traffic is disgusting and undeniably some of the worst in the entire city. Well, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) may ease up some of those blues that come with driving Mercer.
Smarter traffic lights could be making their way to Seattle. These would mean, “Shorter waits at red lights, especially in congested areas,” according to King 5. Peter Hahn, the director of SDOT, insists that the current signal system that Seattle uses is out of date. The city would greatly benefit from the installation of an adaptive system, which Hahn says, “Adapts quicker to the actual demand at an intersection from conflicting movements.” Mercer Street is the first on the list of potential recipients of the new system, followed closely by the waterfront, which has faced construction that is setting signals out of sync.
While experts say that traffic problems will be far from fixed, the system could bring some relief. With 43% of commuters coming into Seattle by car, we’ll take all the help we can get.