In This Issue

Welcome to Winter 2015

Did You Know About...Black Ice?

Don't Lose Your Grip

Year Round Loop Replacement

Real Time Passenger Information Update

Employee Spotlight

Traffic 101


Upcoming Events


Rich Marsanico, P.E.
Rich Marsanico, Jr.

Gregg Hoffmann
Chris Pagniello
Mary Marino
Robert Blasi

Andy Koumbaroulis

Field Systems Engineers:
Jim Fleming
Mike Jordan
Frank DeLucia
John Fresella

Wendy DeGaray
Ed Madison

Tom Donolli
James Ramziel


Welcome to Winter 2015

2014 was a busy year for most, including our staff here at Traffic Systems, Inc.  We worked with many agencies, consultants and contractors to provide world class solutions to their traffic needs at both intersections and on highways.

Thanks to the hard work of our sales and technical staff, the City of Buffalo joined our long list of satisfied customers.  The City embraced the value and accuracy that Sensys Networks’ wireless pucks bring for presence detection and installed hundreds of pucks in place of traditional loops at intersections this year.

Also in this issue, learn how many of our products can combat some of the challenges winter weather can bring:

  • The IceSight road surface detector is changing the way some agencies collect weather data and deploy their maintenance vehicles.

  • Sensys Networks’ new grind resistant, ( aka ‘deep’) sensor is being installed five inches below the road surface to avoid milling operations and can be installed in snowy conditions.

This issue’s employee spotlight is on Jim Fleming, our Systems Engineer of more than sixteen years who is still putting up with Rich & Rich on a daily basis…

Please enjoy this issue and be sure to check our website for upcoming TSI seminars in your area.

Did You Know About...Black Ice?

Old Man Winter has arrived once again. This yearly visitor comes for the Winter Solstice and leaves on the Vernal Equinox often wreaking havoc on our roadways with the “gift” of Black Ice.

Black Ice, also referred to as Glare Ice is extremely dangerous and difficult (if not impossible) to see.  It glazes over our roads, sidewalks and driveways in a very thin and slippery layer. Bridges, overpasses, untreated road surfaces and roadways with low traffic volume can become unsafe very quickly.

Here are a few tips about handling black ice:

  1. Know the temperature outside.  It is best to know in advance if icing is occurring or could possibly occur. Take note that when the temperature gets close to 32?F or 0?C, icy conditions can happen.

  2. Look for Water Spray:  If icing is occurring, there will be little if any water spray coming from vehicle tires.

  3. Drive slowly – The best way to avoid skidding out of control is to drive at a slower speed, giving you more time to react to the effects of black ice.

  4. Don't slam on the brakes – or make sudden movements with the steering wheel, as this can cause your car to lose control and slide. Slowly take your foot off the accelerator, and if necessary, tap the brake pedal lightly instead of pushing down hard on it. 

  5. Maintain a safe following distance – In conditions like this, you need to lengthen your following distance to ensure you will have enough time to react to the driver ahead of your vehicle, especially if they begin to lose control.

  6. Look for trouble spots ahead - If you have an idea that there may be black ice ahead (ie: cars ahead of you are sliding), downshift to a lower gear before you come onto the black ice. The lower gear will force you to drive more slowly and give you better control of your car.

  7. If you begin to slide on black ice take your foot off the gas pedal slowly - The last thing you want to do is give your vehicle more gas. It is very important to slow down when you are driving on black ice or in any other winter road conditions.

  8. Finally, in the event of bad weather or icy road conditions -try to find a safe and secure location to park your vehicle- like a parking lot. It is not recommended that you stop on the roadway or on the shoulder as it is notoriously dangerous. Of course the best bet for safety during inclement weather is to stay indoors!

To learn about weather responsive traffic management equipment, see our datasheet on High Sierra’s IceSight 2020E/EWRemote Road Surface Condition Sensor

To see Black Ice in action, click on the Youtube link below:

Don't Lose Your Grip

Winter driving in the northeastern United States can have many challenges.  The road conditions can change in an instant due to temperature variations of only a few degrees, precipitation, the type of roadway, and even elevation changes.  This winter alone there have been hundreds of crashes and several multi-car pileups throughout the region directly related to black ice.  So far this year, there was a 25 car pileup on the Cross Island Parkway in Queens NY, a 15 car pileup on the Cross Bronx Expressway, and a 17 car pileup on the Bruckner Expressway in Bronx NY.  On the other side of the George Washington Bridge there was a 30 car pileup in northern New Jersey and just south, around Philadelphia there was a pileup of 30-50 cars just to name a few, reportedly all due to black ice conditions. 

State, County and City Departments of Transportation as well as other agencies expend an enormous amount of resources and put forth a valiant effort to try and combat what Mother Nature throws our way.   Unfortunately, the force of nature can just be too overwhelming and sometimes it can be impossible to keep up with large storms, mixed precipitation and rapid temperature fluctuations which can cause road surfaces to freeze before you know it.

To aid the Transportation Agencies in their pursuit to keep the roadways as safe as possible in all weather conditions, High Sierra Electronics based in Grass Valley, CA provides their transportation customers with a variety of sensors and weather related products.  Some of their latest developments include the IceSight and Surface Sentinel non-intrusive surface condition sensors.  The sensors use laser and infrared electro-optical technology to detect hazardous road conditions.  

The IceSight comes in 2 different configurations, Model 5433 (Figure A) is designed for fixed infrastructure applications, it can be mounted on traffic signal poles, RWIS towers, camera poles or sign gantries etc.  The unit reads the surface condition temperature and reduction of surface grip due to water, snow and ice.  When used in conjunction with the Model 5470 MiniRWIS RPU it will provide NTCIP open architecture communications information to ATMS systems and Weather Responsive Traffic Management Systems to improve traffic safety. 

The Mobile IceSight Model 5435 (Figure B) is designed for vehicle mounted applications and was developed for winter maintenance professionals who demand up to the second information about their roads and environment.  The sensor uses an open architecture data output to report various surface states including dry, damp, wet, slush, snow and ice.  In addition surface grip is reported as a friction coefficient on a scale from 0 being the worst to 1 being the best.  This sensor can be easily integrated into existing AVL and MDSS systems or an existing RWIS network to fill in gaps between fixed stations.

The Surface Sentinel Model 5439 (Figure C) is designed for fixed infrastructure and provides surface and air temperature, relative humidity and dew point.  This unit can be used for remote monitoring or in an autonomous system.  When used autonomously the contact output can be used to trigger ITS devices such as an “Icy Bridge” blank out sign that illuminates based on user defined thresholds typically when the bridge surface is at or near freezing.

High Sierra has been designing and manufacturing environmental monitoring systems for over two decades to help support Agencies’ mission to identify hazardous conditions and to help keep motorists safe.  Of course the best way to not “lose your grip” and stay safe in wintry weather is to park your vehicle at home and stay off the roads!

For more information on High Sierra products please contact Traffic Systems, Inc. at 631-242-4292 or visit our website at

*Some content courtesy of

Year Round Loop Replacement

Winter weather in the northeast damages pavement and often times this can render typical inductive loops inoperable.  Many Agencies must wait until spring for loop replacement…but there’s a solution.

If you’re looking for the high accuracy of in-ground detection, yet one that is not susceptible to milling and repaving; then you need to be introduced to the new Sensys Networks “Grind Resistant” (GR) Sensor.

Much like the successful deployment of over 200,000 Sensys Networks “pucks” before it, the new GR sensor can be installed year round, and it can be installed up to 5”...UNDER…the pavement so milling is not an issue! (See typical installation example below)

For more information on this or any other Sensys Networks product please contact Traffic Systems, Inc. at 631-242-4292 or visit our website at

Real-Time Passenger Information Update

Read how RTPI signage has enhanced bus service for Staten Island’s commuters and the plans to expand the services throughout Staten Island and Brooklyn.

Employee Spotlight - James Fleming

The year was 1998; the New York Jets finished that season with a 12-4 record and won the AFC–East Division title under Head Coach Bill Parcells and veteran quarterback Vinnie Testaverde.  Finally, after 30 years, they were only one game away from going to the Super Bowl; unfortunately they succumbed to John Elway and the eventual NFL Champion Denver Broncos.  In that same year; Google was founded, the #1 movie was Saving Private Ryan, the national average retail gasoline price was $1.03/gallon, Mark McGuire broke the single season homerun record*, President Clinton becomes embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and ironically the FDA also approved Viagra.

Equally significant in 1998, back in the days when “ITS” was called “IVHS” (Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems), Traffic Systems, Inc. (TSI) hired James Fleming. TSI was beginning to grow, and it was time to bolster our technical prowess to keep pace with the ever evolving traffic technology market.  Along came a fresh faced kid out of SUNY Farmingdale with a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology.  Jim had an immediate impact on the business; his technical knowledge in state of the art electronics made him a valuable asset from day one. 

Jim is an integral part of the TSI team. He is well versed in various communications technologies, CCTV, several different types of vehicle detection systems, as well as traffic cabinets and controllers. Through his project management expertise, his ability to understand electronic system architectures, his acute troubleshooting skills and his meticulous attention to detail, TSI is able to deliver complex ITS and traffic control systems throughout our territory from New Jersey to Massachusetts.  Today, Jim leads the technical staff at TSI and the company relies on him heavily to ensure our customers’ expectations are not only met but exceeded.

Symmetry is ever present with Jim, although he spends his days working at TSI he is a devoted family man and spends his off time in Suffolk County, Long Island with his wife Dorothy and three beautiful kids; daughter Elizabeth, and sons Ryan and Daniel.  Jim is a loyal New York Jets fan, through thick and thin he supports “Gang Green” in their ongoing pursuit of the Vince Lombardi Trophy.  He wasn’t around to see it in 1969, so hopefully for him, one day he too will get to witness the Jets win an NFL Championship. 

So if you’re ever driving down the highway and you see Jim on the side of the road commissioning one of our ITS systems don’t forget to yell J.E.T.S.  JETS!  JETS! JETS!  You’re likely to a get a thumbs up in reply!   To talk to Jim or one of our other technical specialists please call TSI at 631-242-4292.

Traffic 101

TRAFFIC SYSTEMS is offering a…FREE…”TRAFFIC 101” training session (NYS 1.5 PDHs pending). This one hour presentation will explore the history of traffic signal controllers and cabinet hardware; including the evolution of technology from older electromechanical controllers up to the latest microprocessor based controllers.  The discussion will continue with a segment related to the specifications and design features of all cabinet and controller types from Non-NEMA to NEMA, CALTRANS and even the latest ATC Standards.

A brief introduction into controller firmware, design features and various communication media will cap off the information-filled hour.

This class is offered once a month at your office or at TSI in Bay Shore, NY.

To schedule “TRAFFIC 101” email Wendy DeGaray at


TSI is preparing for a week of informational seminars which will focus on vehicle detection platforms used for a multitude of applications ranging from presence detection at the intersection, to adaptive signal systems, travel time systems, speed detection, and how transportation agencies obtain and utilize accurate, real-time data.    For information and registration Contact Mary Marino at  or at 631-242-4292 ext 113.

Upcoming 2015 Events:


IMSA NJ: 2015 Spring Section Meeting
Bordentown NJ - Rutgers Eco Complex


Traffic Systems, Inc. will be presenting Vehicle Detection Seminars in NJ (3/24), NY (3/25-3/26) and New England (3/27). For information and registration, please Contact Mary Marino at  or at 631-242-4292 ext. 113


ITS Massachusetts' 20th Annual Meeting and Conference
Massachusetts Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA.


Northeastern District 2015 Annual Meeting
Hilton Albany, Albany, NY, US


ITS America 2015 Annual Meeting Pittsburgh and Board Meeting
David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh


74th Annual NYSATE Conference
Wyndham Wind Watch Hotel, Hauppauge, NY


ITS-NY 22nd Annual Meeting and Technology Exhibition
Gideon Putnam Hotel and Conference Center, Saratoga Springs, NY


ITE 2015 Annual Meeting and Exhibit
Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, FL


ITE 2015 Technical Conference
Westin La Paloma Tucson, Arizona, USA

We want your input!!

Do you have a new product, an upcoming/successfully deployed project or a future event that you would like to share with our readers?  Let us know!
Please contact Wendy DeGaray at with your information.

Winter Wonderland 2015 from New York, New Jersey and New England

For more information on Traffic Systems, Inc. Visit or call 631-242-4292 for product specifications.