The Traffic Operations Section maintains all traffic signals in the City of Topeka. Traffic signals are designed and constructed to provide for the safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians. The majority of our signals are "traffic actuated", which means the location and direction of traffic is sensed automatically and green signal phases are then allocated according to defined timing and sequencing patterns so as optimize traffic flow. Traffic is sensed by embedded signal "loops" or by video camera systems located on the signal poles.
Some traffic signals, especially in the central business district, are pre-timed in their operation. A pre-timed traffic signal operates under defined signal cycle lengths, giving predetermined walk, don't walk, red, yellow, green, or arrowed indications. These type signals have their timing patterns optimized to provide the most efficient movement of traffic under the pre-timed condition.
Some traffic signals are "Interconnected" to form a system of signals to provide for the best traffic flow along a specific route. The Wanamaker corridor is an example of such a system. Such systems are connected together by wiring or fiber optic cables to allow communications between adjacent intersections.