Pittsburgh expanding system of ‘smart’ traffic lights to ease congestion

About a third of Pittsburgh’s 610 intersections will be equipped over the next two years with smart traffic signals designed to ease congestion and allow for a smoother commute along key city corridors, an official said.

Karina Ricks, who heads the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, said the city will add more than 150 new signals along five “smart spines” that mostly lead in and out of Downtown…

Fifty intersections in the East End since 2012 have been equipped with sensors as part of a program of Traffic21, a CMU research institute. CMU’s research indicates vehicles in East Liberty intersections spend 40 percent less time idling, resulting in a 21 percent emissions reduction.

“There’s greater efficiency,” Ricks said. “I wouldn’t necessarily guarantee that traffic is going to move quicker. It depends on which route you’re using, but vehicles should move more smoothly.”