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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

Thursday, August 30, 2001
Contact: Wally Weart
Telephone: 202-366-4013
FHWA 29-01

FHWA Announces Video Telling Benefits of Traffic Signal Retiming

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced the availability of a new video showing that retiming traffic signals is one of the more cost-effective techniques available to state and local agencies in their efforts to manage congestion and growing travel demand.

The video, "It's About Time, Traffic Signal Management: Cost-Effective Street Capacity and Safety," demonstrates how signal timing on roads can improve air quality while reducing fuel consumption, decreasing traffic congestion, and saving time for commercial and emergency vehicles. It also shows that retiming can reduce aggressive driving behavior and the number of severe accidents.

"We are pleased to make this video available to our partners in states and localities across America," said Christine Johnson, FHWA's operations program manager. "We think they will find the success stories featured in the video to be both informative and persuasive."

In the video, three local officials describe their experiences with this low-cost approach to transportation improvement and provide 'real world' validation for the concepts discussed in the film. The officials are Mayor Paul Schell of Seattle; Richard Plastino, director of public works in Lakewood, Colo.; and John Poorman, staff director for the Capital District Transportation Committee in Albany, NY.

Two-thirds of all highway miles in the United States are roads with traffic signals. According to the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the United States has about 300,000 traffic signals. The performance of about 75 percent of them could be improved easily and inexpensively by updating equipment or by simply adjusting the timing.

A copy of the video can be obtained from Pamela Crenshaw at the FHWA, pam.crenshaw@fhwa.dot.gov.


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