Improved Urban Traffic Flow Through Signal Re-timing—California Experience

by Dennis W. Strong, Barton-Aschman Associates Inc, Evanston, IL, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Innovative Strategies to Improve Urban Transportation Performance


The California Energy Commission (CEC) has initiated a new program to re-time all of the 20,000 interconnected traffic signals in the state, the first of its kind in the United States. The primary anticipated result of this program is the saving of 150 million gallons of fuel each year having an estimated annual value of 550 million dollars in operating costs to Californians. The CEC program has been dubbed FETSIM for (Fuel Efficient Traffic Signal Management). 1983 was the first year of the FETSIM grant program when over 2 million was made available to local governments for 100 percent funding of the signal re-timing effort. Forty-one local government agencies participated in FETSIM this first year in an inaugural effort which re-timed over 1500 signals throughout the state. The summary of the experiences and results of the 1983 program and four of the cities included shows the substantial yearly benefits.

Subject Headings: Traffic signals | Traffic flow | Urban areas | Traffic analysis | Fuels | Local government | Highway and road management | Energy efficiency

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