Fresno streets get smarter

FRESNO, Calif.

Fresno traffic engineer Scott Mosier says driving through Fresno is getting easier. "We're close to completing Clovis Avenue, we're finalizing the testing and getting some new timing in place to coordinate all the signal lights from the Clovis city limit all the way to Jensen Ave. We are in construction synchronizing Shaw Avenue between Highway 99 and Highway 41 for all the traffic signals along that corridor."

Traffic engineers told the city council the next step is coordinating all the lights on Fresno Street between Herndon and Olive. City Council Member Larry Westerlund said, "I'm excited about this project ."

By using sensors implanted in the roadway and connecting the traffic signals with fiber optic cable, or wireless transmitters Mosier says this computerized system is supposed to improve traffic flow.

"So its key that when a vehicle leaves an intersection then there's a platoon of cars that will reach the next one and have a green light, as much as possible."

A synchronized system saves time, about 20 percent. For example a drive down Herndon is now five minutes faster than it was before the system was in place. Cars also use less fuel idling at stop signs and air quality is improved.

The federal government has provided $20 million in grants to pay for the projects, with another $5 million on the way, all in the interest of reducing air pollution by improving the traffic flow through the city.

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