Tired of sitting in long lines of traffic, burning gas, and wasting time commuting through Pittsburgh?

Carnegie Mellon University has developed a first-of-its-kind traffic signal control technology that automatically adjusts and coordinates signal timing to accommodate varying traffic volumes and has shown strong promise for reducing commuting times and vehicle emissions during a pilot trial at nine intersections in East Liberty.

At a news conference Monday in East Liberty next to one of those intersections, CMU researchers said the smart traffic signal system, in place since June, has reduced vehicle wait time on Penn Avenue, Penn Circle South and Penn Circle East, by an average of 40 percent. Travel time through the area declined by 26 percent and vehicle emissions are down an average of 21 percent.

The next step is to demonstrate the technology on a wider scale by doubling the size of the pilot project area.

City leaders and researchers say the intent is to deploy the system citywide, possibly in five years, and export the technology to other cities that have shown interest.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said the pilot’s success was a breakthrough that could make the city’s traffic system work more efficiently and reduce the need to do expensive road widening or eliminate on-street parking to facilitate traffic flow.


Post-Gazette: CMU develops high-technology traffic signal timing system