By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Mayor Nutter’s budget address Thursday included plans that could make your commute smoother next year: the city will open a new Traffic Operation Center to monitor gridlock and signal timing.

“Traffic in Philadelphia at times could truly be insane, and we’re trying to fix it.”

Mayor Nutter, speaking to reporters after his budget address, said the new Traffic Operations Center will include close monitoring of traffic flow to avoid gridlock.

“We’re also looking to upgrade our system such that EMS vehicles, fire trucks, police cars — you could actually create a prioritization for that traffic in a particular area and for a certain distance, it might be all green.”

The center will be based at the Fire Administration Building. Operators will get information from the 800 traffic signals that are wired with fiber optic cable, and can be adjusted by the operators.  Also, 50 new traffic cameras will be installed at key intersections and also linked to the center.  Officials hope to have the center open by year’s end.

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