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Transportation & Public Works - News

Posted on: July 1, 2021

City Installs Traffic Signal Battery Backup Systems


The City of Santa Rosa is currently retrofitting 170 signalized intersections with Battery Backup Systems (BBS) to provide more than four hours of uninterrupted power to traffic signals during a power outage which will help better facilitate an evacuation process and movement of traffic during an emergency. This project was made possible through the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program where the City was successful in securing $1.4 million in funding.

Recent wildfires and Public Safety Power Shutoffs have highlighted the need to maintain established evacuation routes through the City. When traffic signals lose power, intersections become four-way stops, dramatically slowing evacuations and increasing driver uncertainty. Maintaining power to signals at critical traffic routes improves public safety by ensuring orderly evacuations and reducing the number of police officers needed for traffic control or accident response.

Battery Backup Systems not only provide uninterrupted backup power for traffic signals during a power outage, the BBS also provides power for vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian detection devices and pedestrian crossing signals.

Another important feature is the battery backup system’s ability to maintain the memory of the traffic signal controller. The controller is responsible for sequencing the phases of the various turn movements through an intersection. With a battery backup system, the controller’s memory can be maintained and return to normal operation once the outage has ended. This feature will eliminate the need to spend additional time reprogramming controllers after a power outage.

In 2011, City Traffic and Electrical divisions first began deploying BBS at select signalized intersections in anticipation of the SMART train. Installation for the current BBS project began in April 2021 and completion is expected by the end of July 2021.

Additional information and the project map can be found at 

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