Ever since starting this blog 10 years ago (time flies when you have few readers) I’ve been railing against the city’s stubborn refusal to synchronize its traffic signals, something it last did roughly 40 years ago.
But it appears our long municipal nightmare is over, assuming next Tuesday’s $250 million infrastructure bond referendum is approved by voters.
More than one-third of the city’s intersections with traffic signals — about 350 out of 960, the mayor’s office says — has received upgrades. Some of those improvements have occurred thanks to a Georgia Department of Transportation grant program. Mayor Kasim Reed spokeswoman Jenna Garland tells CL the city could complete the work needed to sync up all intersections if voters approve the bond package on St. Patrick’s Day.
“It would have a very big impact citywide,” Garland says. “Most people who drive around have sat around in traffic. … Traffic light synchronization hasn’t happened on the level that it needs to.”
That’s an understatement. I figure I’ve squandered at least a year’s worth of minutes waiting for the signal at Highland and North avenues to change.
Most everyone agrees syncing the lights will make a noticeable difference. Los Angeles, which synchronized every traffic signal in the city in 2013, has seen a 16 percent increase in traffic speed along with a 12 percent reduction in delays at major intersections.
Now about all those potholes …