This headline appeared in the online version of USA Today in Yahoo.
The nation's traffic lights are woefully inefficient and outdated, forcing frustrated commuters to sit in congestion, waste gasoline and pollute the air, a traffic engineering group said Wednesday.Below is a copy of a letter I sent to Michigan officials.
Two-thirds of 378 traffic agencies in 49 states don't actively monitor traffic lights, or they simply respond to problems as they occur, the Washington-based Institute of Transportation Engineers reported.
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
Sen. Gilda Z. Jacobs
The Road Commission for
Wayne County Department of Public Services
Subject: Traffic Management
As an owner of two homes in
As an example,
There are many other high traffic locations that I could cite, but the point should be clear: lack of signal progression is wasteful and too frequent. Given the amount of taxes dedicated to roads, a simple improvement that would immediately benefit all would be attention to signal progression. It is not rocket science or even difficult mathematics. With computer control over signals, it should be nothing more than simple diligence. This is an opportunity to make a noticeable improvement in traffic at very little cost. And this improvement is totally independent of road construction costs.
By the way, the first time I brought this subject up was in the 1980s
and I havent seen a lot of improvement since.
Bruce HallTo be fair, some improvements have been made, but overall, very little progress is evident. Let's presume that poorly timed lights and resulting congestion increase fuel consumption by 25%. At $2.25 per gallon, that means that you are spending about 50 cents or so of each gallon on the failure of traffic engineers, who are paid with your taxes, to do their jobs properly.