By John Shumway

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Whether it’s quitting time and you just want to get home or the start of your day and you need to get to work, no one wants to sit in traffic, and in Pittsburgh, there are certain corridors where that is exactly what you do.

Enter the high technology of “smart” traffic systems.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto put $11.3 million in his budget with “the goal being we can lessen the amount of idling time by over a third.”

The “smart” system has connected traffic signals, using sensors, cameras and computers to monitor all the traffic in a grid.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The mayor says, “Traffic signals will know where the traffic is, know where the congestion is, and be able to disperse it much more effectively.”

So, the city has identified a number of “Smart Spines” that the mayor says will be targeted for the intelligent traffic signal systems.

“To be able to keep traffic flowing at a much more efficient and consistent rate,” said Mayor Peduto.

The first phase is now under design and will include a spine on the Route 51 corridor from the intersection with Route 88 to the Liberty Tunnel entrance. Another spine that will see work begin in 2019 is the always-busy West Liberty Avenue from the Liberty Tubes to the Dormont line.

There is already a different smart system in place on Penn Avenue and Baum Boulevard to North Craig Street and Bigelow Boulevard.

“Our next step is Bigelow, all the way Downtown,” said Peduto.

Later, the “Smart Spines” will extend out to Fifth and Forbes from Downtown to Oakland, and on Center Avenue from Downtown to Bigelow. And a spine will be installed to improve the flow of Second Avenue to Irvine Street through Hazelwood to the Glenwood Bridge.

State and federal funding is helping cover about 75 percent of the construction of the “Smart Spines,” which Peduto says “will be built out over a series of years.”