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Traffic Lights Wasting Money & Causing Air Pollution

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    Traffic Lights Wasting Money & Causing Air Pollution

    If you feel frustrated at being stopped at every light when going someplace by car, you're not imagining it. A new report compiled by the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the American Public Works Association, the Intelligent Transportation Society of America and the Institute of Transportation Engineers examined surveys taken last fall of 378 traffic agencies in 49 states. This included approximately one-third of all traffic signals in the US.

    The report looked at how traffic agencies manage their systems including how they review traffic signal timing, how they manage traffic data inventory and what type of staffing they have. The report concludes there are a lack of resources for monitoring and coordinating traffic signals across the nation. The report also notes that improving the traffic system would cost somewhere in the area of $965 million a year.

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    The results conclude that many of the nation's traffic signal operations are far from being efficient. Some of the results from this are driver frustration, unnecessary delays, wasted fuel and more air pollution.

    Other information from the report:

    ** 68% of state and local traffic agencies have no documented management plan for their traffic signal operation or they respond to problem intersections as they happen.

    ** 71% of state and local traffic agencies have no staff monitoring traffic outside of normal working hours.

    ** 57% of state and local traffic agencies fail to conduct routine reviews of their traffic signals within a three year period.