Emory Report
June 26, 2006
Volume 58, Number 33


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June 26 , 2006
Improved traffic lights trim time, stress

by nancy seideman

Don’t worry about speeding up to make that green light.

Through a coordinated effort between Emory and DeKalb County, traveling on several roads around Emory will soon be easier. Beginning in April, you likely noticed a positive change in traffic patterns thanks to a collaboration between Emory and DeKalb County that has significantly reduced travel time within six major corridors in the Clifton community.

Working with the county, Emory engaged the consulting services of GCA, Inc. to develop and implement new timing plans for 33 signals within an area bounded by Lavista Road on the north, Clairmont Road on the east, North Decatur Road on the south and Briarcliff Road on the west.

The consultants conducted travel time studies on typical weekdays during three peak times (morning, noon and afternoon). Based on the findings, the consultants worked with the county to implement new signal plans and install equipment upgrades. As a result, a comparison study in April revealed significant overall improvements:

• 31 percent reduction in average travel time;
• 40 percent increase in average trip speed;
• 55 percent reduction in average delay time; and
• 55 percent reduction in average stops.

For example, afternoon peak travel time eastbound between the intersection of North Decatur/Haygood and North Decatur/Webster was shaved by nearly five minutes—as was travel time southbound on Clifton Road between Briarcliff and North Decatur.

The consultants estimated that motorists traveling in the six corridors during these peak times will save nearly 327,000 hours and about 196,000 gallons of gas each year. Reducing idling time and acceleration cycles also decreases the release of air pollutants.

Emory and DeKalb County will continue to work together to monitor travel flow and make quick adjustments as needed.