How many Traffic Signals are in York Region?
Most of Region's signals are connected to the Centralized Traffic Control System.
- York Region operates and maintains approximately 800 traffic signals
- The local Municipalities maintain approximately 100 more
Click here to view York Regional map of traffic control signals and street lights that York Region owns and/or maintains. When map has loaded, please zoom into area you are interested in.
How are Signalized Intersections Timed?
The Regional Municipality of York uses several timing plans to co-ordinate signals to move the flow of traffic. These periods are generally:
- AM Peak: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Off Peak: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- PM Peak: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Overnight: 11 p.m. To 7 a.m.
These timings are implemented Monday to Friday. Weekend plans are used upon demand as traffic patterns change.
Traffic patterns are identified by:
- Approximately 300 traffic counts completed at intersections every year
- Approximately 500 traffic counters with pneumatic tubes placed in between intersections
Timing of signalized intersections is based on vehicle volume demands, with the majority of time given to the demand requirements. This operation holds the intersection in "Major Street Green" state until such a time as the coordination terminates to the minor street if the demand is present. Advance arrow phases are developed for intersections on a case by case basis, and must meet the needed requirements. These advance phases are either omitted or added depending on the impact they may have on opposing traffic flow.
During the overnight period, intersections run in "free" mode and traffic signals are not coordinated. This allows for a much quicker turnover to the minor street. The phasing on the minor street will turn green and run the minimum green time, which is generally 10 seconds. If there is no additional vehicles it will terminate to the major street. However, if more vehicles are detected it will run to its maximum time, generally 30 seconds.
How are Vehicles Detected?
A loop detector is embedded into the pavement at minor street approaches and in left turns lanes. The passage of an electrical current through the loop generates a magnetic field around it. As a vehicle approaches a loop, this disturbs the magnetic field and causes the inductance of the loop to change, activating the alternate phase.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) Traffic Signal Displays
Since 2004 the Region has replaced and retrofitted the existing incandescent traffic control signal displays (TCSD) with LED technology.
The LED display consists of a number of small light emitting diodes connected in strings so that if one LED fails, only the string that the LED is on goes out. This leaves several other strings of LED to maintain the signal display in operation. The LED display is much brighter than the incandescent displays, providing a more visible signal and a safer intersection. It is expected with the aging population, these LED displays will provide a display that is easier to see both in the daylight and night time hours.
The use of LED TCSD has become predominant within the past decade. Typical benefits associated with LED displays in comparison to incandescent lamps are:
- Reduced energy costs of 90%
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Increased reliability
- Increased visibility
If you need additional information, or have comments and concerns, please submit them by using our online Traffic Contact Form