December 19, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
28°F
test

Avon reduces traffic delays by tweaking traffic signals

Route 83 in Avon

Route 83 is among the roads in Avon that have experienced an increase in traffic speed and a decrease in travel times and delays as the result of a traffic study. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

AVON — The city has reduced traffic delays and increased the speed through some of its busiest roads as a result of tweaking certain traffic signals.

The changes were a result of a citywide traffic study — the first conducted in more than 10 years, according to City Engineer Robert Knopf.

“The timing of the lights was overdue because of the amount of growth, which has happened within the city over the last 10 to 15 years,” he said via email.

As part of the traffic study, TMS Engineers Inc. modeled the traffic flow on a citywide basis, reviewed the timing of each signal and made recommendations that would create the most efficient flow.

The study, which was conducted in the fall, cost the city $38,120. Traffic timing and adjustments were completed in January, and the changes were reviewed.

As a result of the study, the city determined that state Route 83, Detroit Road and Nagel Road experienced an increase in traffic speed and decrease in travel times and delays. The changes resulted in a fuel-consumption savings of $187,008 on Detroit Road and $87,660 on Route 83, according to the study.

Chester Road and state Route 611 were not able to be analyzed because of construction during the time of the analysis.

The analysis is based on traveling the road from one end of the city to the other. A traffic engineering consultant drove the entire length of main roads a minimum of five times during peak traffic hours before and after the recommendations were implemented, according to Knopf.

The fuel-consumption savings were based on the calculated average gallons of fuel that will be saved with the improvements.

“The city was able to increase the average speed and decrease delays by making sure that the signalization was working together as efficient as possible so that the average driver, driving the speed limit, could drive the length of the road with minimal stops or delays,” Knopf said.

Knopf said the city will be applying for an air-pollution grant to proceed with other improvements to reduce travel time and increase fuel-consumption savings for Avon residents.

As part of the grant, the city is looking at connecting all traffic lights into one system that can be monitored by the city.

“This helps because all of the traffic lights would then ‘talk’ with each other so that, if there is a problem in one section of town, adjustments could be made to improve the situation,” Knopf said. “We would also possibly install ‘smart’ lights, which would allow for automatic adjustments to the timing based on traffic flow.”

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.