• Atlanta Mayor Wants Traffic Light Synchronization

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    ATLANTA - The last time the City of Atlanta modernized its traffic light system by linking and synchronizing them was in the mid-1970s, according to the Public Works Department.

    At the time, the city had traffic lights at 320 intersections. Since then, the city said, it has added 945 signaled intersections without adding them to the coordination system.

    Channel 2's Jeff Dore spoke to several Atlanta drivers about driving through town.

    Driver Katherine Rutledge said, "I start driving, and a block further, there's another red light. It's kind of annoying."

    Dore caught up with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at a park opening and asked him about synchronizing traffic lights.

    Reed said, in his first year, he appointed a new Public Works commissioner and has now directed him to find out what it would take to synchronize traffic lights.

    A Public Works representative told Dore that a preliminary estimate to get the job done is $15 million to $20 million. Reed said if he can't get that money into next year's budget, he will at least have a plan for one in the future.

    "Reducing the amount of starts and stops is not only the right thing to do so we can get people home to their families and loved ones," he said, "it is the right thing to do for the environment."

    One of the first accomplishments of the new city of Sandy Springs was timing lights. On Roswell Road, a study showed that it decreased red-light delays for drivers by 22 percent. In the Perimeter Mall area, it decreased delays by 34 percent, according to a Sandy Springs news release.

    The city said residents recouped the costs in the first year by reducing lost time, extra fuel and other costs.

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