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Stamford Aims To End Gridlock By Retiming Traffic Lights

Stamford Mayor David Martin makes a point during a press conference announcing the start of a project to improve traffic flow.
Stamford Mayor David Martin makes a point during a press conference announcing the start of a project to improve traffic flow. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Stamford Mayor David Martin makes a point during a press conference announcing the start of a project to improve traffic flow.
Stamford Mayor David Martin makes a point during a press conference announcing the start of a project to improve traffic flow. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. — Motorists may see faster travel times in Stamford as early as late next year as the city undertakes a traffic synchronization project.

Mayor David Martin and Traffic Engineer Robert Zaitooni announced Friday that Stamford has selected Urban Engineers to perform a comprehensive traffic signal synchronization and retiming project of traffic lights throughout the city.

"We do not have a simple grid system,” Martin said. “You see a lot of unusual intersections that come from an older city.”

Among those intersections is the one in Bull's Head that includes the two major arteries of High Ridge Road and Long Ridge Road as part of that congested area, Martin said. The city hopes the traffic study, along with software updates to the signals, will result in an improved traffic flow.

“It has been decades since our signal system has been retimed — and you can tell,” Martin said. Residents have voiced concerns about traffic flow, and the city is moving to address those concerns, he said.

"It is our hope that we can get as much as 20 percent improvement in certain corridors," Martin said.

One of Martin's top transportation priorities when he took office was the retiming project. Earlier this year, the city received a $3 million federal grant to fund the signal upgrade and synchronization project.

The city is now upgrading its 1980s signal system to a modern system, which will enhance the changes happening with the synchronization project, Martin said. While unrelated to the federal grant, this is a necessary step before the retiming is implemented.

Traffic signal synchronization is a key to maximizing traffic efficiency on the city's streets and meeting demands during various daily peak periods, Martin said. The project entails data collection, analysis, and modeling of the signals. Together, these methods will determine the best way to increase efficiency when the signals are synchronized.

As Urban Engineers begins its data collection process in the next few months, the city will be announcing opportunities for residents to take part in the project, Martin said.

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