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New system aims to ease traffic with the a press of a button

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg Photo Credit: Office of the Mayor

The city wants to unravel the tangle of traffic in midtown with the simple press of a button.

City officials unveiled a state-of-the-art traffic management system on Monday called “Midtown in Motion,” which allows traffic engineers to monitor congestion and then adjust traffic signal patterns in real time.

Previously, the signals were predetermined based on the time of day and couldn’t easily be changed, officials said.

“I don’t want anybody to think that ... there will never be another traffic jam. … That’s not the real world, but we can make it better,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who announced the plan at the traffic-monitoring hub in Long Island City.

The $1.6 million system oversees a 110-square- block section of midtown from Second to Sixth avenues and 42nd to 57th streets.

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