Faulconer said the city's “made a concentrated push in the last few years to use techology to become a smarter city trying to use that technology to provide better service to customers and to our residents. … Now we're using technology to improve traffic.”
The mayor noted the new signals “communicate with each other, memorize traffic patterns and make timing adjustments so cars keep moving along rather than sitting at a red light for minutes on end.”
The new system “is all about taking real-time data, and turning it into real-time results,” said Faulconer.
“Since the new signals were installed, we've seen travel times reduced by as much as 25 percent during rush hour,” the mayor added. “We've also seen the number of stops at these traffic signals decrease by as much as 53 percent, depending on the signal. We have residents and commuters who travel this corridor every day — and they've definitely noticed an improvement.”
District 2 Councilmember Lorie Zapf described Rosecrans prior to the InSync traffic optimization system as “the core triangle of traffic hell.”
“I never knew how long it would take,” Zapf said adding installation of the new lights was a “quality of life issue.”
“This is the largest traffic signalization project in the city, and this has been a big team effort,” she concluded.
Jon Linney, chair of Peninsula Community Planning Board, and Clark Anthony, president of the Point Loma Association, chimed in on the new traffic-signal system's importance.
Linney referred to the new Rosecrans adapted traffic singals as a “blessing and relief” and a “major advance in taming the traffic nightmare.”Anthony said he was tired of “sitting at stoplights watching minutes tick by at empty intersections.” He pointed out the new “intuitive and innovative (traffic) system will save us time, fuel and frustration — and that's important.”
Anthony concluded that “the sheer volume of traffic at both ends of Rosecrans is something we're going to have to continue to address over the years. But this is certainly a step in the right direction.”
Asked whether the new traffic signal optimization system has made a difference, Peninsulans answered yes.
“Rosecrans seems to flow much nicer,” said PLA board member Robert Tripp Jackson adding, “We need these at Sunset Cliffs and Voltaire/W. Point Loma. That area always backs up between those two blocks.”
“I think the system works well and seems to effectively alleviate some unnecessary stops along Rosecrans,” concurred Cecilia Carrick, also of the PLA.
Peter Nystrom, chair of the Peninsula Community Planning Board's Traffic and Transportation Subcommittee, noted there are 11 signal lights on Rosecrans between Nimitz and Interstate 5.
“I have never been able to travel north and rarely south without at least one 'red' light stopping my progress,” said Nystrom. “With the establishment of the system for Rosecrans, as long as the traffic keeps up, I always make the trip with all 'green lights.' I don’t know what effect the system has on cross streets, or whether the system is applicable for other locations, but it is perfect for Rosecrans.”
The InSync traffic optimization system installed on Rosecrans mirrors a similar traffic-optimization system installed recently on Torrey Pines Road on La Jolla Parkway.
Seeking to combat worsening traffic congestion, city officials have created a $163 million master plan to install, over a 10-year period, modern stoplight timing systems and other advanced technologies that ease gridlock. The 10-year plan is intended to connect each of the city's 1,540 stoplights into a timing and coordination network controlled by a central hub.
The Rosecrans Adaptive Traffic Control System is meant to “decrease gas consumption and decrease greenhouse gas emissions, all part of the city's Climate Action Plan.” That plan aims to satisfy state mandates for reducing greenhouse gases by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.