Traffic Signal Basics

Traffic signals are installed to assign right-of-way to conflicting traffic movements at an intersection.  These assignments are made by allowing vehicles to travel through the intersection during separate times or phases.  Signals attempt to assign the most green time to the heaviest traffic movement.  When properly coordinated, traffic signals increase the capacity of an intersection and improve the safety and efficiency of pedestrians and vehicles.
When DPW begins a traffic operations study on any given roadway, we give careful consideration to the effect that signal coordination might have on the corridor.  We can achieve the greatest benefits for the least cost by coordinating traffic signals on high-volume streets.  Not all corridors can be coordinated, but when the combination of traffic volumes, split, speed, intersection spacing and cycle length meet the criteria, vast improvements can be made for a minimal cost.
DPW strives to meet objectives while providing the maximum possible level of comfort to the widest majority of drivers.  In order to do this on a continual basis, optimization of traffic signal timings is a task that is attended to often, as traffic conditions and street characteristics change.
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