Seasoned Houston drivers are used to traffic, construction and seeing people proposing, threatening suicide in their underwear or riding on hoods of moving cars on the highway.

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It’s been there, done that for Loop 610 veterans, I-45 commuters and Tollway travelers.

But life behind the wheel in the Bayou City might soon become a more pleasant experience. That’s if City Council approves a $33.6 million package tomorrow, which could vastly streamline and manage communication along the area’s byways and corridors.

Partially funded by a $10 million federal grant, hundreds of traffic-tracking devices could be added across the city “so officials can receive better up-to-date information, respond by adjusting traffic signals and provide current conditions to drivers more quickly.”

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“The ability to visually verify incidents and alert drivers to travel times on parallel alternate arterial and freeway routes will be a benefit,” said Tony Voigt, a Texas A&M Transportation Institute researcher based in Houston. “The ability to better detect vehicles at signals and use that data for signal timing updates at more frequent intervals — and in real-time, if necessary — will be a benefit.”

Houston is hoping to get smart about traffic with new technology AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Anna Caplan contributes to Rare Houston and Rare Animals. 
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