Plan to relieve traffic congestion in L.A.

LOS ANGELES The fourth phase of "Operation Bottleneck Relief" got under way Monday morning. The latest traffic signal technology will help to speed drivers through 60 of L.A.'s most congested intersections.

Angelinos spend an average of 93 hours a year stuck in traffic. City officials say they are continuing efforts to speed things up.

"Operation Bottleneck Relief Phase IV" represents another patch of synchronized stoplights placed strategically at some of the busiest intersections. The city has already reported a significant reduction in traffic congestion with synched lights placed over the past year and a half.

"Through the first three phases of 'Operation Bottleneck' we've been able to reduce traffic delay at 103 of the city's busiest intersections by an average of 4,057 hours per day," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Mayor Villaraigosa unveiled the workings of the newest phase of the plan. It's a centralized street signal system installed at a total of 103 intersections with cameras in place so signal adjustments can be made in real time based on exact traffic conditions at a given intersection. The plan implements variable green light intervals and other signal tweaks to improve the traffic flow in places like Los Feliz and heavily traveled streets in the San Fernando Valley.

Ventura Boulevard, with notoriously heavy traffic near the 405 onramps, now sports synched lights at some of its most congested intersections. Other streets in the San Fernando Valley with the new technology include Victory Boulevard, Devonshire Street, and Sherman Way.

According to the city, commuters in every part of Los Angeles will enjoy a 20 percent faster travel time and a 30 percent reduction in overall traffic congestion through all the phases of "Operation Bottleneck Relief." With synched lights already up and running in Westchester and the Mid-Wilshire district, the city says it's reduced the average time spent at red lights by eight seconds per signal.

"Today when we are putting the fourth phase 'Operation Bottleneck,' we're here to say, and with the leadership of Mayor Villaraigosa, that traffic will be better in some of those intersections across the city of Los Angeles," said L.A. City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel. "That whether it is eight seconds or a few minutes, it will make a big difference in your commute."


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