Monday October 5, 2009
Traffic lights along major suburban roads will be synchronized to improve the flow of vehicles during peak travel times, Mayor Jerry Abramson and Congressman John Yarmuth announced today.
The $7 million project will synch the lights along Shelbyville Road, Preston Highway, Dixie Highway and Hurstbourne Lane — some of the most heavily travelled suburban roads during morning and afternoon rush hours.
The city is using $1.5 million in federal stimulus from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to kick-start the project, which includes installing software and hardware so the lights can communicate with the city’s Public Works Department.
“This is a major step toward making our suburban roads and stoplights as efficient as the downtown traffic network,” Abramson said. “By controlling the traffic lights, we encourage vehicles to move more smoothly – and it also reduces idling time, which improves the city’s air.”
Yarmuth said using the stimulus dollars for the project will have a long-term positive impact on the city.
“This is another example of Federal funding from the Recovery Act making a difference right here in Louisville,” Yarmuth said. “The average Louisvillian loses $750 per year and one week of their time due to congestion. By eliminating traffic delays, this project will save Louisville businesses time and money while also improving the quality of life for families travelling our roads.”
The project will take two years to complete and is being funded with a variety of federal, state and local dollars. Shelbyville Road and Dixie Highway will be completed first, followed by Preston and Hurstbourne.
The new communications network will allow Public Works to monitor traffic along the suburban corridors and react immediately to traffic patterns. The city currently has the capability to do that for downtown roads, but not suburban ones. Approximately 350 suburban signals will be added to the city’s computer system.
Traffic synchronization is one reason that downtown Louisville’s traffic moves efficiently, even at rush hours and even with 60,000 workers leaving or entering the city center at roughly the same time.