Traffic light synchronization to save Memphis motorists time - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Traffic light synchronization to save Memphis motorists time

(WMC-TV) - The city of Memphis is launching a project Mayor A C Wharton says could make your days of stop light dodging a distant memory.

Friday, Wharton said these could be your musings when you arrive early under the new system:

"You know what? I didn't stop at one stop light on the way in, not one red light," Wharton said. "That's what they're going to notice immediately.

But, there's a catch. If you try to speed with the new stop light system, it will actually take you longer to get from point A to point B.

"The lights are synced to not exceed the speed limit," Wharton said. "If you insist on exceeding the speed limit, then you're still going to have to stop at the red lights."

The $23.5 million project is funded through federal tax dollars. Work is beginning on Lamar Avenue, and will eventually cover 120 miles of Memphis' most headache producing thoroughfares, such as Poplar Avenue and North Germantown Parkway.

Aside from lower blood pressure Mayor Wharton says there are many other health benefits, and that is why the federal government is handing over the cash.

"The fewer red lights, the less idling time, and idling particularly heavy vehicles - that's when the pollution comes out," Wharton said. "This project will reduce by 96 tons the amount of emissions that go into the air. That's killing us health-wise."

In the future, the system will allow the city to funnel traffic to and from special events. Video cameras at high incident locations will also be able to detect crashes.

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