LOS ANGELES —
In the meantime, Quan says, the synchronized signal program is putting up some pretty impressive numbers, even if the average driver isn't noticing them. It has reduced the drive time on several major LA corridors, for example, by about 12 percent.
In driver-speak, that means the trip across town that used to take you an hour has been reduced to about 53 minutes.
And that's nothing to shrug at, says Robert Puentes, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution's metropolitan policy program, which studies among other things the impact of traffic on the quality of life in metropolitan areas.
Several other traffic-clogged cities are looking into instituting similar programs and New York already synchronizes some of its stoplights, said Puentes, who works in Washington, D.C., the ninth-worst traffic-clogged city in the country.
"If you can get a 12 percent reduction on, say, the Washington Beltway, that would be phenomenal," he said.