Grandview and Blue Springs join cooperative traffic signal coordination effort

Operation Green Light (OGL) has been aiding in the safety and efficiency of traffic signal operations across the Kansas City metropolitan area since the program was started in 2004. The goals of the program are to reduce travel time, fuel consumption and air pollution while ensuring safety and efficiency.

Recently, Grandview and Blue Springs joined the list of 23 OGL member cities. Blue Springs added nine intersections to the signal management system along with network communications. Grandview added five intersections, communications and signal controllers.

When adding a new route to the OGL system, existing equipment is used whenever possible, which saves money. All costs for the program are paid for by federal, state and local funds.

This time-lapse video of before-and-after signal coordination along an OGL corridor demonstrates how signal coordination allows traffic to move at a much smoother pace.

While traffic flow is a big part of OGL’s work, improving air quality is another important aspect. When cars idle at stoplights or in traffic jams, more emissions are released into the atmosphere. According to an article published by the U.S. Department of Energy, idling cars in the United States release roughly 30 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Programs like OGL and AirQKC work to limit emissions and improve air quality throughout the region.

Well-coordinated signals can also work with the Kansas City Scout freeway management system to help respond to traffic incidents. OGL’s wireless communications system allows analysts in an office to make changes to a signal without having to visit the intersection, reducing costs and increasing response time.

These agencies and cities are currently participating in the Operation Green Light program:

  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Kansas Department of Transportation
  • Missouri Department of Transportation
  • Mid-America Regional Council
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