Public Works starts citywide traffic signal retiming project

Changes to signalized intersections will improve safety, air quality, and traffic flow


Use caution near intersections during the retiming project.

Photo by RICtoday

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Did you know? The city maintains 480 traffic signalized intersections — including 285 north of the James and 115 south of it. This year, the Dept. of Public Works is working on retiming all of them.

What is retiming?

The process involves fine-tuning how and when traffic lights change colors, thereby managing traffic flow. Corridors are evaluated and undergo changes to improve safety and minimize stops and starts.

DPW began the project on Friday, March 10. It’s scheduled for completion next spring.

What are the benefits?

According to DPW, the retiming project will benefit motorists, pedestrians, bikers, and anyone else using the road.

Drivers have the opportunity to save time and money. An Institute for Transportation Engineers study calculated that every dollar spent on optimization could mean a 15-20 gallon savings in fuel.

For non-drivers, retiming provides the opportunity for the city to work towards Vision Zero — the global strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

What will it cost?

Funding for the $1.765 million project was provided by the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. DPW says it’s working with VDOT, the Richmond Regional Planning Organization, and the Federal Highway Administration to get the job done.

The city has announced a few other street improvement projects lately — including an $8 million grant from the Virginia Highway Safety Improvement Program and nearly $1 million from Safe Streets and Roads for All.

What should I do?

While the project gets going, use extra caution on the road. You may have to get used to new traffic patterns on familiar streets, so slow down and pay attention as you drive, bike, walk, run, or roll through Richmond.

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