Denver’s latest traffic projects: Laser-scanning crosswalks and special signals for semis

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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A truck speeds over Swansea Elementary. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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A truck speeds over Swansea Elementary. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver didn’t win the federal government’s Smart City Challenge, but it’s pushing ahead on some of the ideas it proposed during the contest.

One idea: Denver wants to use video and laser scanning to detect pedestrians at certain intersections, according to Governing. The technology could extend the “walk” signal if pedestrians are still in the cross-walk, and the data it yields could be used to improve timing at other intersections.

Denver also is working to install sensors that would encourage 18-wheel trucks to stay off neighborhood streets in North Denver, Governing reports. The city wants a freight company to try installing wireless transmitters in its trucks. Those transmitters would talk to traffic signals, potentially changing the light to give the trucks priority — but it would only work on certain routes at certain times of day.

The projects will be funded by the city and by a portion of a $6 million grant from the federal government, according to Governing.

A city spokeswoman confirmed to Denverite that both projects were scheduled for a 2019 deployment. No budget figures were yet available.