If you think you've got the timing of traffic signals on Ocean County Route 549 through Brick Township and Toms River down to a science, you'll be going back to school.

Traffic Calming Device, Defusing Tension (Tom McNally, Townsquare Media)

County officials are spending $273,000 on high-tech gear to coordinate lights at 37 intersections over nine miles of Brick Boulevard and Hooper Avenue, from Route 70 in Brick to Water Street in downtown Toms River.

The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, on which Freeholder James Lacey holds a seat, provided the grant that Board members say is aimed at safety, clutter reduction and pollution.

"Better coordinating these traffic signals through Toms River and Brick Township will result in better movement of traffic and safer traveling conditions," Lacey said in a prepared statement.

The money covers the cost of collecting an analyzing traffic data, developing a plan, and generating an interactive graphic model.

"This technology will help reduce congestion and emissions," said board Director Joe Vicari in the same document, "and that will go a long way in giving our drivers improved driving conditions."

Below-ground sensors that once dictated signal changes increasingly are being replaced with above-ground monitors  that usually issue commands when a line of stopped cars builds or a gap in traffic flow appears.

There is no clear indication from the Board that this is the technology to be applied, but there has been nothing more highly-evolved in general use.

Freeholder John Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety, added, "These improved signals ultimately will save travelers time and money. It will cut down on emissions from idling and will provide for a safer commute."