AirTalk for May 1, 2013

Will traffic light syncing alleviate LA gridlock?

Survey Calls U.S. Traffic Signals Inefficient

Scott Olson/Getty Images

How can Los Angeles use traffic lights to manage its infamous traffic?

L.A.’s infamous traffic problem has been unsolvable for decades. In the newest effort to alleviate gridlock, the city has synchronized over 4,300 traffic lights.

This system called the Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control system is a complex system that links all the traffic lights together. Sensors and transportation engineers will monitor traffic flow and operate the lights accordingly. Police can also use this system to control traffic for events. This $400 million network pushed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa should save commuters time and gas, which in turn decreases L.A.’s equally infamous smog. Los Angeles is the first big city to integrate this technology.

Is it working? Is your commute time shorter? Should other cities consider traffic light syncing to avoid gridlock?

Guests:
Verej Janoyan, Senior Engineer at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation who has worked on the signal synchronization program

James Moore, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Southern California


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