MANILA - MMDA Blames PLDT Line for Traffic Light Malfunctions : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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MMDA blames PLDT lines for busted traffic lights

May 30, 2000 By Marvin Sy THE PHILIPPINE STAR

Problems with the communication links of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) were identified by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) as another reason for the malfunction of the "Smart" traffic light project, MMDA Chairman Jejomar Binay said yesterday.

"Communication links between the intersection and the central computer went down last April 21. The links were restored several days later. However, the line is relatively noisy that communication errors occur every few minutes," said Steve Shaw, of Plessey Asia Pacific Pty. Ltd., contractor of the system.

Each traffic intersection is connected to a local exchange controller, in turn linked to a regional computer, then to a central computer at the Traffic Engineering Center of the Department of Public Works and Highways via PLDT lines.

The Smart system uses the Sydney Coordinated and Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS) where the changing of lights is based on vehicular volume, speed and space or gaps.

Binay pointed out that Shaw has committed to provide an error-free system as his firm has been working continuously with PLDT.

"PLDT is now finalizing a new error-free link," Shaw said in his letter to DPWH-TEC director Godofredo Galano.

The STAR tried to get a comment from the PLDT yesterday but its spokesman was not available. Mon Isberto, PLDT spokesman, promised to give his comments today.

"These birth pains are part of the normal process but I am still optimistic the Smart system can help improve traffic in Metro Manila in the long term for as long as the motoring public also cooperates," Binay said. He previously blamed motorists for causing the malfunctions in the system.

According to Binay, motorists who violate simple traffic rules such as stopping at the designated points in intersections, cause the Smart system to malfunction.

He explained that once vehicles go past the designated stop points and stop in the box with the yellow "X" at the intersection, the underground sensors of the system will malfunction.

At present, there are 284 intersections where the SCATs system has been installed, with 190 already linked to the central computer.

The MMDA hopes to complete the installation of the SCATS in the 135 remaining intersections by the end of this year.


-- (, May 30, 2000

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