NTOC Releases the 2007 Traffic Signal Report Card
The National Transportation Operations Coalition (NTOC) held a national press event to unveil the results of the 2007 National Traffic Signal Report Card on October 9, 2007, at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC. The nation scored an overall grade of D, up from a grade of D- two years ago, with the release of the first-ever Traffic Signal Report Card.
The 2007 National Traffic Signal Report Card builds upon the 2005 report card by focusing attention on the operations and maintenance of traffic signal systems. It seeks to answer the question: How well does the nation manage, operate and maintain its traffic signal systems, and how much has operation of our nation’s signal systems improved since the 2005 National Traffic Signal Report Card? The results of the report card are documented in the Executive Summary and Technical Report, both of which are available on the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Web site at http://www.ite.org/reportcard/.
The report card shows how local jurisdictions such as cities, counties and states can reap large rewards, such as mitigating congestion and lessening fuel consumption, by making small changes in the way they manage and operate their traffic signal systems. NTOC spokesperson Marshall Elizer, P.E., PTOE, states, “Our research shows that just a few small changes in the local management and operations of traffic signals could result in national fuel savings of up to 10 percent or 17 billion gallons per year. That would mean a monetary savings of $240 a year or five full gas tanks for an average household. In addition to the fuel savings, the nation would see a reduction of up to 22 percent in harmful emissions.”
Case studies outlined in the 2007 National Traffic Signal Executive Summary show that proactive actions can lead to significant improvements with immediate operational benefits, as 58 agencies had an improved grade from the 2005 National Traffic Signal Report Card. The report highlights several of the jurisdictions that have been successful in making changes since the 2005 report card was released. The results contained in the report card are based on a traffic signal operation self assessment released by NTOC in the fall of 2006. A total of 417 agencies responded, representing 47 states.
At the press event, speaker Lloyd Doggett, Congressman, (D-Texas), 25th District, Austin, TX, highlighted the city of Austin’s improvement from a C to an A score. Congressman Doggett cited how the city’s recognition of its need to provide better preventative maintenance for its traffic signal systems led to major improvements in the systems’ overall effectiveness. Likewise, speaker Elizabeth A. Ramirez, Assistant Director for Public Works and Transportation, City of Dallas, Dallas, TX, who also holds the title of city traffic engineer, noted how the Dallas Metropolitan area took action to improve its score after observing areas of improvement for the timing of its traffic signal systems between regions. Through examples such as these, the 2007 National Traffic Signal Report Card shows that although there is still work to be done, many jurisdictions have used the assessment to make changes and improve their grades.
Each of the agencies that participated can benefit by using their individual results to identify strengths in their signal systems and opportunities for improvement. The process of completing the self assessment was educational for agency staff and valuable to the development of additional resources like the Traffic Signal Audit Guide (http://www.ite.org/reportcard/traffic_audit_FINAL.pdf).
The 2007 National Traffic Signal Report Card is the result of a partnership between several NTOC associations led by ITE, the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials, the American Public Works Association, the International Municipal Signal Association, ITS America and the U.S. Department of Transportation–Federal Highway Administration.
If you have any questions about the self assessment, report card, or press event, please contact Lisa Fontana Tierney, ITE Traffic Engineering Senior Director, at email@example.com or 202-289-0222 ext. 116, or Marianne Saglam, ITE Communications and Marketing Senior Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-289-0222 ext 123. Information about the 2005 and 2007 report cards, the 2007 press event and other resources for congestion management is available at http://www.ite.org/reportcard/.