WASHINGTON — Maybe a little technology can help get traffic moving. Starting Friday, District Department of Transportation engineers will begin adjusting the timing of traffic lights at nearly 400 traffic intersections.
From Canal Road to North Capitol Street in Northwest, engineers will be reprogramming traffic signals in a bid to improve traffic flow, maximize time for pedestrian crossings and lower emissions and fuel consumption.
“They time the signals to accommodate the varying travel demands, depending on the time of day,” said DDOT spokesman Terry Owens.
The program, which began in 2012, adjusts the traffic signals based on updated traffic and pedestrian data along with computerized traffic models.
“What we are seeing is improved traffic flow in areas where we’ve done the work,” Owens said.
DDOT engineers calculate that in some areas where lights have been reprogrammed, traffic delays have been reduced by up to 30 percent. Nearly 650 intersections have been adjusted in the signal optimization plan and 383 will be tweaked over the next few weeks.
“The last thing we want is people stuck in traffic when they come to the District,” Owens said.