Signal retiming projects in several U.S. and Canadian cities contributed to a reduction in crash frequency.

Signal Retiming Projects in the US and Canada

April 2004
Lexington; Kentucky; United States

Summary Information

Optimizing traffic signal timing is considered a low-cost, high-benefit approach to reducing congestion. Signal timing strategies include the minimization of stops, delays, fuel consumption and air pollution emissions and the maximization of the traffic progression through the system.

The article, "The Benefits of Retiming Traffic Signals", presented in the ITE Journal is an interim product of the ITE Traffic Engineering Council's project TENC-101-02. This article describes the who, what, when, why, and how of traffic signal retiming. The presentation "Benefits of Retiming Traffic Signals: A Reference for Practitioners and Decision Makers About the Benefits of Traffic Signal Retiming"1 was presented at the 2005 Annual ITE meeting and provides similar information.

Signal retiming provides significant direct benefits for the traveling public. One of these benefits is the reduced delay experienced by motorists. Delay savings are more apparent for motorists traveling along coordinated signalized arterials. Improved signal timing also has indirect benefits. Better coordination along major arterials minimizes the diversion of traffic to local and residential streets, improving safety and traffic conditions. It also leads to reduced fuel consumption, reduced emissions, and improved air quality.

1 Harris, J., Benefits of Retiming Traffic Signals: A Reference for Practitioners and Decision Makers About the Benefits of Traffic Signal Retiming. Presentation at ITE 2005 Annual Meeting and Exhibit, 7-10 August 2005.


A synthesis of various traffic signal retiming projects across the U.S. and Canada revealed that there is a reduction in crash frequency.
  • In Lexington, Kentucky traffic signal retiming efforts resulted in a 31 percent decline in accidents.

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The Benefits of Retiming Traffic Signals

Author: Sunkari, Srinivasa, P.E.

Published By: ITE Journal

Source Date: April 2004



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Goal Areas


Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas


coordinated signals, signal coordination, centralized signal control, signal synchronization, traffic signals, advanced signal control, signal timing optimization, coordinated signal control, advanced signal controller, traffic signal retiming, retiming

Benefit ID: 2007-00394