City officials on Monday unveiled a system of microwave sensors, traffic cameras and E-ZPass readers that will be used to monitor Midtown Manhattan traffic so that adjustments can be made in real time to alleviate congestion.
Mayor Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced the new system on Monday, calling it Midtown in Motion. It covers about 110 square blocks, from Second to Sixth avenues and from 42nd to 57th streets.
Engineers at the city's traffic management center in Long Island City will be able to watch the data and adjust signals to clear traffic jams.
"The technology will allow traffic engineers to immediately identify congestion choke points as they occur and remotely alter traffic signal patterns to begin to clear up Midtown jams at the touch of a button," Bloomberg said in a statement.
Previously, traffic signals could only be set to signal patterns that were configured based on the time of day, the city said. This prevented officials from being able to adjust for unexpected delays like crashes, or large events like the UN General Assembly.
The program also involves the installation of new turn lanes at 53 intersections.
The city said the data will be made available to app developers for use on mobile devices.