D.C. to improve multimodal operations with traffic signal retiming

Retimed signals to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety as well as smooth traffic flow

November 09, 2020 / 1 minute read
traffic signal retiming

The District DOT (DDOT) in Washington D.C. recently announced the latest phase of its multimodal traffic signal operations enhancement program by implementing new traffic signal timing plans at 436 signalized intersections.

The retimed signals improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, smooth traffic flow, reduce transit running times, and lower emissions and fuel consumption.

DDOT will retime signalized intersections in Northwest and North Downtown, bounded by the Potomac River to the west, the D.C.-Maryland border to the north, Clifton Street NW to the south, and the Georgia Avenue and North Capitol Street corridors to the east. The network includes neighborhoods across Wards 1, 2 and 4 including Georgetown, Columbia Heights, and northern Adams Morgan. The work will continue through mid-November.

As part of this effort, DDOT will implement the following safety improvements:

  • Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs) at 207 additional intersections
  • Pedestrian signal recall (“Pre-timed Operation”) at 58 intersections
  • Increased length of pedestrian crossing times at 97 intersections in support of Age-Friendly D.C. goals
  • Revised traffic signal phasing to enhance multimodal safety and operations at 10 intersections
  • Once this signal upgrade is complete, the District will feature 864 LPIs and pre-timed signals at 89% of all traffic signals in the District, eliminating the need for pedestrians to push a button to activate a "walk" signal

DDOT engineers are reprogramming the traffic signals using updated pedestrian, cyclist, transit, and vehicular traffic data along with new traffic models reflecting changes in lane configuration and signal timings that have taken place since the last retiming of this network in 2016. The new timing plans are designed to accommodate the District’s varying multimodal travel demands by time-of-day (under normal circumstances) and incorporate new intersection construction and/or developments that have occurred since the last implementation in this network.  

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SOURCE: District DOT (Washington D.C.)

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