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Nullo's avatar

What do you think of this traffic control system?

Asked by Nullo (21946points) June 15th, 2010

All of the stoplights along a long street in the next town have been synched such that a person traveling at a level 35mph will encounter nothing but green lights as he drives. People going significantly faster or slower than the speed limit will come to a light before it turns green and will be made to wait.
There are signs posted along the route explaining as much.

Thus, I suppose, the driver is encouraged to stick to the speed limit without the city having to resort to the threat (and expense) of police action.

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13 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Good idea. Many cities have been doing this for years but only professional drivers knew about it.

mattbrowne's avatar

This was introduced in Salt Lake City in 1917.

A good idea with limitations. Sometimes roundabouts are more efficient.

Trillian's avatar

I like it. It removes the aggravation factor. The lights in my tiny town’s main drag do the exact opposite. People go a block over to avoid the stupid string of lights. I might just pack up and move to where you are…

Cruiser's avatar

I agree with @stranger_in_a_strange_land as this has been status quo AFAICT since I have been driving. Unfortunately traffic hardly ever allows me to enjoy this benefit of synced traffic signals and even worse is when they go out of sync it is a stop and go nightmare!

mrrich724's avatar

So if you have bad luck, and begin your driving journey on a red light, you will get all red, regardless of the speed limit you do?

I think that would motivate people to speed so they can catch the green light and change their luck!

filmfann's avatar

There are timed lights on Franklin in San Francisco, and they made driving that street a breeze, which is quite an accomplishment for the City.

marinelife's avatar

It is wonderful when traffic allows you to use it.

john65pennington's avatar

All the traffic lights in Nashville are synchronized and have been since Nashville became a Metro Government. all are controlled by computerized traffic signal boxes at each intersection. this is nothing new. the idea is to keep the traffic flowing and it works.

prescottman2008's avatar

They use that system in Mesa, AZ at night, like midnight to 4:00am, It used to be that way on all the streets until the traffic sensors were all in place. It was fine for the most part. but at 2am on a deserted stretch of multi-lane street I often found myself creeping up on my speed to the point that I always messed up the sync. I hated sitting at an empty intersection waiting for the light to change, wanting to just go, but always fearing there would be a cop somewhere who’d see it. One of the towns near where I live now has a sign at the edge of town saying the lights are sync’d but I don’t believe it. Even with my cruise control set I always hit one or two red lights before getting to the other end of town.

Seek's avatar

Yeah. In my town, if you drive the speed limit you will catch every red light on US 41 from Ocala to Sarasota. If you think I’m lying, try it sometime. I do it every morning.

tinyfaery's avatar

We have these in certain places. However, it’s not that great of a deterrent to speeding.
I almost always drive over the speed limit and I can hit most of the greens and never really need to stop; I just need to slow down or speed up at certain intersections. Maybe it’s because we have really long yellow lights, as well. Or maybe it’s all the traffic.

Nullo's avatar

@mrrich724 That red light’s going to turn green, though, and when it does the rest will be synched so that it’s green all the way down.

Seek's avatar

@Nullo – That might work out for the first guy in the line, but I’d wager the next light will turn yellow at just about the time the guy at the end gets to hit his gas pedal.

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