In an effort to deal with the city’s traffic congestion, the West Hollywood City Council last night agreed to study various systems for synchronizing traffic.
The traffic synchronization study, proposed by Councilmember Lauren Meister, would involve looking at systems currently in place in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.
When it comes to managing traffic, an issue for West Hollywood is the fact that much of it comes from those crossing through the city to other destinations, primarily along east/west corridors such as Sunset Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue.
In a memo to the Council, Meister notes that many of the 60 intersections in WeHo that have traffic lights are part of a system where the lights are synchronized. That means someone driving at a certain rate of speed could expect to find consistent green lights or consistent red lights while traveling down Santa Monica Boulevard. But those lights are not connected to a system such as that used in Los Angeles, where sensors in the street detect the passage of cars and their speed and the level of congestion. That real-time information is used to change the timing of stop lights to improve traffic flow. The system has been shown to reduce travel times by 12 percent and increase speeds by 16 percent, Meister said.
Meister recommended that the city engage an outside consultant to study various technologies that might be implemented to improve traffic flow.