Octa's transportation blog

Traffic Signal Coordination Saves Time, Reduces Emissions

Driving through multiple cities without stopping at red lights can be difficult and time consuming, in part because each city controls its own traffic signals. OCTA is helping to synchronize traffic lights across the county to improve drive quality and the environment.

Orange County's population is expected to increase 13 percent by 2035, and that means more drivers on roadways. To ease growing traffic demands, OCTA, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the County of Orange and all 34 cities are working together to coordinate traffic lights across the county.

Traffic signal synchronization allows a series of lights to turn green in advance of arriving traffic based on synchronized timers set to current traffic conditions and congestion levels.

OCTA improves traffic flow by coordinating traffic lights across city boundaries. Most signal timing projects result in a 5 to 15 percent improvement in travel time and speed, reducing travel times, stops and delays.

To date, OCTA and local agencies have synchronized more than 3,500 intersections along more than 903 miles of streets (101 completed projects), reducing travel time by 13%, reducing fuel consumption by more than 70 million gallons and reducing greenhouse gases by 1.19 billion pounds.

The Regional Traffic Signal Synchronization Program is funded in part by OC Go, also known as Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, with additional funding from local cities, the county and Caltrans. For more information about signal synchronization, visit here.