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States and Cities Try Smarter Signals to Reduce Red Lights


You’re stuck in traffic, waiting for the signal to turn green. When it finally does, you inch forward, as several cars up ahead of you make it through the intersection. Then the light turns red and you hit the brakes again, only to repeat the process.

Most drivers can relate to this frustrating scenario, whether they’re commuting to work or heading to the mall. Now, a growing number of cities, counties and states are trying to tackle the traffic congestion nightmare by improving the way lights are synchronized.

They’re using a variety of high-tech tools to prevent backups at intersections and smooth the flow of traffic. Some collect and analyze data to pinpoint problem spots. Others use advanced technology to fix the problem right then and there.

Transportation experts say that revamping the way signals work will reduce congestion, save fuel costs, cut down on air pollution and make the roads safer.

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