"To assist traffic engineers in reducing unnecessary vehicle stops and delays through more efficient traffic signal timing." Traffic signal synchronization involves a coordinated set of timing plans for groups of signals on an arterial to create smoother traffic flow, ultimately increasing car and bus mobility with the fewest stops at intersections and decreasing traffic congestion.
Strategies and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Prioritize the monitoring of traffic signal synchronization in the City. Would include an estimated emissions reduction of 435 tons of CO2.
Cost to the City
It depends upon the range of the project. Based on estimates in Portland and Seattle, traffic signal synchronization of thirty-five to thirty-seven lights would cost approximately $70,000 to $185,000. However, in Syracuse, NY, synchronizing 145 intersections brought the total project cost up to $8.3 million.
This will be a partnership between the City and traffic management personnel, though additional help from county officials might be needed, as well as assistance from emergency aid vehicles.
Syracuse, New York (Peer Cities)
Syracuse enacted a plan that included a computerized traffic light system, and synchronized 145 intersections. The total cost of the project was $8.3 million - a detailed breakdown of costs is listed on the Web site link in "related information." Fuel consumption was estimated to have been reduced by 9 to 13 percent, with reduced delay by up to 14 to 19 percent, total stops decreased by 11 to 16 percent, and the average speed was increased by 7 to 17 percent.
While a city as large as Austin still has many difficulties with traffic congestion, it has nonetheless made huge strides in improving some sections of the city's street grid.
Even minor changes in three traffic lights can improve traffic congestion, cutting travel time by nearly half.
St. Augustine, Florida
A reduction of 36 percent in delay, 49 percent in stops, and 10 percent in travel time, resulting in savings of 26,000 gallons of fuel and cost savings of approximately $1.1 million.
A thirty-five traffic signal system in Portland, Oregon netted an annual fuel consumption reduction of over 175,000 gallons for a project cost of $70,000.
King County, Washington
King County created a plan to synchronize traffic signals within the county, a $415,000 effort to ease traffic congestion. In Seattle alone, the city planned to use $185,000 to synchronize thirty-seven traffic signals. Many areas within the county noticed increased speeds through corridors normally bogged down with cars, as well as a decrease in total travel time of about twenty percent.