RICHMOND, Va. – A project is underway to retime 71 traffic signals in South Richmond, to improve the flow of traffic and increase pedestrian safety.
The Department of Public Works, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), hopes to complete the project by April.
The coordinated traffic signal timings move traffic more efficiently because fewer stops are allowed between intersections, and are intended to prioritize pedestrian safety.
The project is in alignment with Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s announcement last October of the city’s participation in the Vision Zero initiative to reduce crashes that may cause serious injuries and deaths through better traffic signal timings. Vision Zero is a global strategy first implemented in the 1990s in Sweden to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe and equitable mobility for all. The framework has gained momentum in major American cities.
Additional benefits of new timing plans include decreased wear on motor vehicles as well as improved gas mileage by reducing the number of stops and starts required. There also will be significant environmental benefits through the reduction of vehicle emissions such as carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and volatile organic compounds.
The City is leveraging this timing project as part of an overall $3.5 million initiative to improve pedestrian safety through funding from the FWHA and VDOT’s Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). It is part of an upcoming multi-pronged initiative to deploy low cost systemic pedestrian safety improvements at signalized intersections through 2020.
These improvements include high visibility crosswalks, accessible ramps, pedestrian countdown signals and improved signal timings. The City said that these improvements will improve pedestrian safety on major arterials citywide at more than 230 intersections.
Due to the changes in some traffic signal sequences, motorists are urged to exercise due diligence as they become accustomed to the changes.
The 9 components of a Vision Zero initiative