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Innovative Deployment of Enhanced Arterials (IDEA)

San Rafael is one of the successful recipients of the Innovative Deployment of Enhanced Arterials (IDEA) grant, funded by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). This is a relatively new program, where MTC invests in city infrastructure and technology with the goals of: improving travel time reliability on major arterials, improving safety for drivers, transit riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians, reducing vehicle emissions and fuel consumption, and assisting public agencies with advancements in technology. San Rafael received about $1M to invest into video detection and a traffic signal performance dashboard for the intersections in Central San Rafael. The traffic engineering division will receive daily reports about the “health” of the traffic signal system and will be able to adjust traffic signal timing and offsets using that information.

IDEA video detection
Screenshot of the video detection. This is used for detection purposes only to provide traffic signal performance measures and is not recorded.
IDEA Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures Dashboard
Screenshot of the Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures Dashboard. The black line indicates the number of vehicles on Hetherton Street and the green line indicates how many of those vehicles arrived on a green light: most of them!

Goals for Project

  • Upgrade traffic signal controllers and cabinets and add a video detection system at most of the traffic signals in Central San Rafael
  • The video detection system provides traffic signal performance measures, such as arrivals on red versus green, pedestrian delay, underutilized phases, and corridor speed, to name a few
  • All of this improved technology and information can help the Traffic Engineering division make informed decisions on changes to traffic signal timing and offsets

Overall Objective

  • Upgrade Downtown San Rafael traffic signal network with the most modern traffic signal controllers to process signal performance data so Traffic Engineering can make adjustments to signal timing and offsets to improve travel time through Central San Rafael


DesignSpring 2018 - Spring 2020
ConstructionSummer 2020 - Fall 2020
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