Check it out! (in Off-topic)

AdminTal Destra March 4 2009 8:46 AM EST home town of Midland, Tx is the first town in the world to have a completely wireless traffic signal network

chaosal March 4 2009 8:49 AM EST

sweet deal. grats?

Daz March 4 2009 9:01 AM EST

You live in Midland? That's the next suburb over from me. Of course... I live in Australia, so they may be unrelated.

AdminTal Destra March 4 2009 9:03 AM EST

If my geography teacher was correct, every state in the US except Alaska and Hawaii have a Midland town/city

Ernest-Scribbler March 4 2009 9:20 AM EST

I like both the pieces of info:) Though do you know your name is spelled wrongly?

AdminTal Destra March 4 2009 9:27 AM EST

tis the joke Ernest

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] March 4 2009 2:01 PM EST

i lived in midland for ten years or so before moving to the hill country. i used to live on tennesee avenue, hehe. ; )

Kefeck [Demonic Serenity] March 4 2009 2:02 PM EST

My town should get that. ಠ_ಠ

Sickone March 4 2009 3:05 PM EST

15+k USD per intersection ? 1.8 mil USD total ? Ouch.
Well, I guess all in all a relatively mild pricetag for this sort of thing, and it's relatively useful.
But still... ouch.

Thak March 4 2009 3:43 PM EST

how do you have wireless traffic signals, where is the power coming from to power the lights? also what is the benefit of a wireless traffic signal to justify spending that tax money.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] March 4 2009 3:47 PM EST

i think the wireless is used for adjustments and programming. in a non-wireless system, to override the timings someone has to open a control panel on the ground and either manually switch the intersection lights or reprogram them in the panel. the wireless system just allows all of this to be done from a control command center for all lights in the jurisdiction.

to reprogram the old way for a whole street would have required stops at each intersection and many manpower hours.

this is all just conjecture though so take it for what it is worth...nothing!

Thak March 4 2009 3:52 PM EST

all just seems to unreliable to me and a waist of money. They had access to the lights already why didnt they just adjust the timers on the lights they already had in place to accompish the same thing. Almost all lights where on timers already and the ones that arent on timers had sensors on them. And what happens when the server goes down or a router or switch takes a crap on them.

Thak March 4 2009 3:53 PM EST

so in other word dudemus it just created more job losses because now you dont need a guy on the ground to adjust things.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] March 4 2009 4:07 PM EST

probably so, as well as adding the ability to have multiple timers. think of it as the old thermostats we used to have in houses. you had to go change it when you wanted it to change. now we have programmable ones that you can set for different temps during different phases of the day/week.

now think of the ability to say in a public school environment have one command center that can manage the timers for multiple classrooms from one location.

midland probably had some issues that most other towns have never had to deal with. it is an oil town and its population has fluctuated wildly for the last 40 or so years. it has spread out (it is in the middle of the west texas plains and a desert-like environment with land being cheap and ubiquitous) and when the population shrinks again the town does not. city staffing would also be fluctuating over time. they basically have the same infrastructure type costs even when the population goes down by sometimes amazing amounts.

that would all be my guess again though, it has been about ten years now since i lived there but i do still have some friends there.

Thak March 4 2009 4:22 PM EST

I get what you are saying dudemus. I just see that the glass is more on the half empty side with this. Just like the thermostat on the house that is programmable you refered to, why not just add programmable timers on the lights.
My biggest beef with this whole thing is the job lose that will be created from it. That is the last thing this country needs is more job loses right now.
Still curious on what happens if a switch, router or the server goes down with these lights and I hope they arent using cell cards on the lights either those things crap out all the time. i had to deal with those all the time when i was working at redbox. Verizon cell cards where the worst.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] March 4 2009 4:27 PM EST

well just keep in mind that something like this doesn't happen overnight, it has likely been in the works for some time now. automation and technological advances will replace jobs, that is one of the driving forces behind industrialization.

i would also imagine that if the wireless network goes down, the lights would just work on their last program until the network is back up. in effect they would just not be able to change the programming during the outage. i would be shocked if the system was not fault tolerant.

Flamey March 5 2009 2:22 AM EST

Thak you're looking at it rather negatively. Whilst improvements in IT lead to job losses on low skilled jobs, it also creates the higher end jobs. Programmers, systems analysts, software maintenance, hardware technicians, blah and blah. I think the main issue at hand is to reduce the idea of speeding, if you're unaware, speeding related accidents do kill a lot of people. Also it'll probably act as a deterrent I'd say given it's advertised enough.

Lives > Jobs to me.
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