SEARCH BLOG: SIGNAL PROGRESSION
Over the past 3 years, I have commented several times about how the government forces us to waste fuel simply because it does a rotten job with traffic signal progression... sequencing lights so that traffic on main thoroughfares will keep moving.
If you do the suggested search above, you will see that I have written letters and even had email exchanges with traffic engineers [one of whom was particularly responsive and did correct a situation on a stretch of city road 8 lanes wide where it was stopped inappropriately by a signal from a business park].
The way I evaluate signal progression is that traffic traveling at, or within a few miles per hour of, the posted speed on a main urban thoroughfare should have uninterrupted flow under normal conditions. Obviously, there are situations outside of normal, such as accidents, that cannot be controlled.
On our recent trip, I found examples of well-timed lights and very poorly timed lights. Here are a few observations:So, while the federal government imposes all sorts of mileage and emissions regulations on automobile manufacturers, it still lavishes billions of dollars on states and communities that fail to use even the most basic logistical strategies in keeping traffic moving.
- Surprisingly, Washington, D.C. had fairly well timed lights. We came in, at the posted speeds, on Canal Road to M Street to 16th and only stopped a couple of times. I had expected a real mess. The Federal government must take care of itself [I noticed the roads were in excellent condition as well].
- The Reston Parkway coming off the Dulles Toll Road was a complete snafu. The lights were set up to stop traffic progression at every signal. 50 chimpanzees could have done a better job.
- Orlando, Florida and suburbs. There is obviously no traffic engineer in the employ of that county. This area also gets the award for the longest signals in the country... there was one red light that lasted a full 4 minutes with no traffic crossing! That was a pretty backup.
And guess who gets to pay for the failure twice in the form of taxes poorly spent and wasted fuel? And guess which industry gets blamed for too much CO2?