October 8, 2009 | FROM THE LA TIMES
Thursday, October 8, 2009
1:51 PM 7 comments
About 82% of Los Angeles' signal-controlled intersections are now synchronized, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will announce today when a new set of intersections comes on line in South Los Angeles. The new project includes synchronizing 70 intersections to improve traffic flow. Named the Hyde Park West Project, the effort will help quicken north-south traffic flow on Crenshaw Boulevard and Western Avenue, according to the mayor's office. The total number of signal-synchronized intersections in the city now stands at 3,597. Traffic-signal synchronization has been a priority of Villaraigosa since taking office.
In 2007. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Villaraigosa announced that Los Angeles would receive $150 million to synchronize the city's 4,385 intersections with signals -- claiming that it would reduce drive times up to 16%, or shaving about 5 minutes from a 30-minute drive.
They also said the plan would help the environment because cars would idle less.
But officials acknowledged at the time that reduction in drive times was general and that motorists who use jammed roads would probably not see much relief. The synchronized lights aren't very effective at intersections with heavy traffic, they said. [Editorial note: arrrgggg. . .]
-- Ari B. Bloomekatz