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Traffic Signal Retiming Could Save Fuel
February 27, 2008 - The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is retiming traffic signals to improve traffic flow throughout the Greenfield District. Using computer models, INDOT engineers synchronized 87 signals in 12 coordinated systems during 2007. The result is improved traffic flow and notable fuel savings - an estimated 39,998-gallon reduction in fuel after signals were retimed during 2007. Related environmental benefits include reductions in carbon monoxide emissions by 6,130 lbs., reduced volatile oxygen compound emissions by 1,413 lbs., and nitrogen oxides reductions estimated at 1,193 lbs. Meanwhile, according to the computer model, transportation delays were reduced by 37,410 hours.
Because these estimates were calculated from the date each signal was retimed through the end of the year, total year-long reductions would be significantly higher. What’s more, these figures are for the first year of a 4-year program. When concluded in 2010, approximately 340 signals in 75 coordinated systems will be synchronized, coordinated and tweaked for optimum efficiency. Some are 2-signal systems. Others are more complex, like the 15-signal system at Kokomo on U.S. Highway 31 which ties 8-phase lights together with fiber optic lines. The largest coordinated signal system is the 23-signal grid at Richmond on U.S. 27 and U.S. 40.
According to Brandye Hendrickson, Greenfield District Deputy Director, “The retiming of traffic signal systems is a relatively low-cost way to improve the operation of arterial routes where such systems are present.”
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