Daily traffic congestion around the Greater Metropolitan Area of San Jose
Daily traffic congestion (“presas” in Spanish) is common around the Greater Metropolitan Area of San Jose

(QCOSTARICA) Transport authorities are gambling on technology to alleviate the problems of traffic congestion (“presas” in Spanish) in the San José Greater Metropolitan Area (Gran Área Metropolitana – GAM).

Traffic Engineering (Ingeniería de Tránsito), a division of the Ministry of Transport and Public Works (Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transportes – MOPT) will be installing a dozen traffic monitoring cameras and six new variable messaging screens.

José Roldán, head of Traffic Engineering, said the work will be carried out this month and next and that the new systems will allow authorities to measure average road speed, the lanes used most by drivers and a count.

According to Roldan, the cameras are being installed in high traffic areas, where major congestion occurs daily, will have high quality resolution and provide real-time information on the traffic conditions.

As for the messaging screens, new will be installed in areas like Desamparados, Zapote and Alajuelita rotondas (one in each direction). Two current screens, one in La Uruca in front of the COSEVI offices and the other one on the east face of La Sabana park, will be moved to La Uruca, in the area of the Juan Pablo II bridge.

Roldan said that in addition, in August and September, some 87 traffic signals will be painted black and their posts green, away from the traditional all amber yellow.

The integration of cameras, screens and traffic signals will be by way of a new software called “Spinnaker”, web-based Advanced Traffic Management System Software.

The cost of the project is US$3.5 million dollars.

The system should be fully operational by next February at the latest.