Mesa’s Streets Get Smarter

December 3, 2018 at 9:53 am

MESA, AZ - Mesa's Streets have gotten smarter with new technologies being implemented to improve drive times, proactively prepare for autonomous vehicles and provide open data to car makers building smarter cars.

The Transportation Department partnered with Mesa Police and Mesa Fire & Medical to utilize first responder dispatch data to automatically alert Transportation staff when an incident occurs on an arterial street. An email alert notifies Transportation staff who can evaluate signal timing adjustment needs based on the scope of the incident. This data is also automatically shared on, a regional real-time travel data website for Arizona.

In two areas the City, Mesa Fire & Medical are piloting a GPS-based preemption detection technology that alerts traffic signals further in advance that an emergency vehicle needs a signal change than the current strobe-light detection. This new technology is anticipated to provide safer, more efficient traffic flow for both emergency service and the traveling public during emergencies.

Mesa drivers with select Audi vehicles are the first to experience the "time-to-green" feature, which integrates the City's traffic signal timing into the vehicle's dashboard display and provides a countdown for the time remaining until the signal changes to green. This partnership is part of Mesa's commitment to providing open data. Mesa also continues work with Waymo as they test self-driving vehicles throughout the Fiesta District.

Along Power Road a new software has been implemented to optimize traffic signal timing to balance performance benefits for safety and efficiency. The system is comprised of five algorithms for tuning signal splits, offsets, cycle time, sequence and time of day schedule.

Mesa also has 101 Wi-Fi anonymous re-identification (ARID) sensors inside traffic signal cabinets throughout the city. These sensors collect traffic information from WiFi technologies inside vehicles and feeds into the AZ511 website, allowing public access to a color-coded map of real-time travel time and congestion data. This allows drivers to identify alternative route choices to avoid congested areas. Transportation engineers in the City also use these travel time speed reports to evaluate signal timing needs to help drivers move efficiently through the city.

Mesa's Intelligent Transportation Systems workgroup was recently recognized by the American Public Works Association in the Technical Innovation Awards category for the ARID sensor projects.