Midtown Traffic Signal Synchronization March 14, 2013


According to the United States Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) synchronized traffic signals reduce typical travel delays by 25% and gasoline usage by 5%. Efforts are now underway to introduce such synchronization to 20 miles of Georgia State Road 9.

Alpharetta, Roswell and Sandy Springs, three metro Atlanta, GA governments joined to improve traffic flow on State Road 9. The expected cost of this is $3.5 million, which compares favorably with the cost of adding another lane to the roadway, which would cost approximately $40 million. Traffic light synchronization could achieve 50% of the congestion reduction of adding another lane.


The Midtown Alliance Traffic Signal Timing Demonstration Project consists of the implementation of traffic signal control coordination plans to optimize vehicular and pedestrian traffic at 32 intersections in the Midtown Atlanta. The critical element of the project included the construction of a wireless communication system which allows the traffic signal controllers at the 32 intersections to communicate with each and to communicate with the City of Atlanta’s Traffic Control Center (TCC). With a reliable communication system in place, the City of Atlanta will be able to maintain the traffic signal timing coordination plans at peak performance and maintain substantial savings in terms of time, emissions and fuel consumption.


  • Targeted 32 intersections along North Avenue, Spring Street, West Peachtree, Piedmont, and 14th
  • Project worked to better time signals at those intersections to increase speed of traffic and reduce time spent waiting in traffic
  • Project estimates that nearly 850,000 person-hours can be saved annually by reductions in traffic wait time
  • Project estimates that over 500,000 gallons of fuel can be saved annually due to decreased traffic wait time
  • Overall, the project is estimated to save $9.7 million dollars annually based on reduced person-hours and fuel wasted in traffic

Learn more about the Midtown Alliance and their sustainability initiatives ere

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