"It's go time," Mayor Chris Beutler said today as he announced that the "Green Light Lincoln" initiative will lead to faster traffic flow and safer streets. The initiative uses smart traffic technologies to move the City into the next generation of traffic management systems. Beutler said the result - reduced travel times, less time waiting at red lights, fewer vehicle emissions and a reduction in the number and severity of crashes - saves everyone money.
"It is estimated that fewer crashes will save Lincoln drivers nearly $30 million," Beutler said. "Traffic delays force drivers to pay more for increased fuel consumption and lost time. Reducing delays will save drivers an estimated $20 million. That's a $50 million return on investment, or nearly $200 a year that will go directly into the pockets of every Lincoln resident."
Beutler said implementing smart traffic solutions can postpone or eliminate the need for costly road expansion projects and is very cost effective. "For the same amount of money it costs to pave three blocks of a new arterial roadway, we can implement new smart traffic technologies at all of the 430 traffic signals across the City," he said.
The initiative is outlined in the City's new Traffic Management Master Plan (TMMP), which was developed over the last two years by the Traffic Engineering Division of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Lincoln's signal system software has not been updated in more than 16 years and is no longer supported by the vendor. Despite maintenance, recent data shows that about 30 percent of the traffic signals have faulty detection.
"It is time for modernization of this system, and Green Light Lincoln will provide it: better signal coordination with new intersection detection systems, new traffic signal software and hardware, and the initiation of an ongoing and formal corridor re-timing program," Beutler said.
Beutler said ALLO's Fiber to the Home project will play a key role in the improvements. "As part of the City's franchise agreement with ALLO, the fiber used to bring one gig service to our citizens will also be used to bring gigabit service to our new smart traffic signal systems," he said. "Green Light Lincoln is a demonstration of how City's Hall's investment in technology infrastructure and partnership with the private sector is paying big dividends for all Lincoln residents."
More information on Green Light Lincoln and the TMMP will be available next week at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: traffic).