SINC and SINC-UP Regional Traffic Signal Coordination – Southwestern PA

HRG was part of a multi-disciplinary team working with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission on a regional traffic signal coordination and retiming effort in 10 counties around metropolitan Pittsburgh.

The region has more than 2,600 traffic signals, which are owned by more than 200 different municipalities. 80% of these municipalities own 10 or less traffic signals each.

Without one entity coordinating the timing and operation of these signals, drivers often encountered many stops and starts as they drove around the region. This caused traffic to back-up at intersections and created unnecessary congestion and delay.

By bringing municipalities together to update their traffic signals and time them in coordination, the Southwestern PA Commission hoped to provide a more consistent flow of traffic, reducing travel time and delay for area drivers. They also hoped to recognize other benefits of properly timed signals such as reduced fuel consumption and emissions as well as reduced driver aggression and collisions.

In the first cycle of the program, 251 signalized intersections in 43 municipalities were upgraded and retimed, providing $90 of annual public savings for every $1 expended on the project. The SPC’s research showed that travel time along the project corridors was reduced by 27% and the number of vehicular stops was reduced by 53% during peak congestion periods.

The second cycle of the project also involved 251 signals, and projects for the third cycle are currently being chosen.

This regional traffic signal coordination project has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the Intelligent Transportation Society of Pennsylvania as a model for regional retiming efforts.

HRG’s services on the project included:

    • Field reconnaissance and data collection to build a transportation model
    • Calibration, analysis and reporting on existing and future conditions.
    • Traffic signal design and permitting.
    • Multi-municipal coordination.
    • Before and after travel time and delay studies to quantify the project benefits.


Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
Two Chatham Center
Suite 500
112 Washington Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Project Highlights

  • Hundreds of traffic signals around the region were synchronized.
  • 1st round of signals yielded $90 in annual public savings for every $1invested in the project.
  • 1st round of signal coordination efforts reduced travel time along project corridors by 27%.

Related People

Contact an HRG Transportation Professional for more information on this project or related services.

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