SAN DIEGO (CBS8/CNS) - San Diego streets are getting "smarter."
Adaptive traffic technology is proving to reduce travel time and improve air quality in one of the county's most congested areas.
A dozen new, connected traffic signals along Rosecrans Street in Point Loma and the Midway District have reduced driving times by up to 25 percent, city of San Diego officials announced Thursday.
That means a drive that would normally take 20 minutes during rush hour - now takes 15.
In addition, vehicle stops have reduced by 53 percent - benefiting the environment.
The "adaptive" signals that run between Hancock Street and Nimitz Boulevard were installed last fall. They communicate with each other and adjust
signals, memorize traffic patterns, improve traffic flow and reduce vehicle stops.
"We've made a concerted effort over the past few years to improve neighborhoods by installing smart infrastructure along some of San Diego's most congested roadways," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.
"Everybody hates sitting in traffic, so we're turning to new technology to solve this age-old problem," Faulconer said "These smart signals adjust traffic lights to keep cars moving rather than sitting at stop lights."
According to city data, the lights have reduced by half the number of times a vehicle has to stop while driving down the roadway.
In January, the southbound Rosecrans commute decreased from seven minutes to five minutes on average.
"The installation of these new adaptive traffic signals means less time spent on the road and more time for commuters to spend with their families," said Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who represents the area. "Residents are catching more green lights than ever before and the community is thrilled about it."
Adaptive signals have also been installed along busy streets like Friars Road, La Jolla Parkway, Lusk Boulevard, Mira Mesa Boulevard and Vista Sorrento Parkway.
The Rosecrans project has been the largest, so far, according to the city.
Moving forward, city officials said they intend to make similar improvements in other heavily congested areas.
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