CRANBERRY TWP — A traffic study by Carnegie Mellon University found that the township’s traffic signal timing project done in 2011 has saved commuters $600,000 in fuel and maintenance costs and saved the community about $2 million.
Yeganeh Mashayekh and Chris Hendrickson from CMU’s Traffic 21, part of the university’s Transportation Center, did the postdoctoral study to determine the impacts of Cranberry’s Signal Timing Project, which re-synchronized the traffic signal timings along the Route 19/228/Freedom Road corridor. That retiming project was funded by a state grant.
The study’s findings were presented Thursday evening during the township supervisors’ meeting.
The study evaluated the economic and environmental impacts of proper traffic signal timing and maintenance.
The results were derived from traffic data in 2011 and 2012. It used several state and federal traffic formulas to break down optimized signal timings, fuel consumption, brake and tire wear, environmental effects and costs.
Duane McKee, assistant township manager/operations, told the supervisors, “The cost to maintain a traffic signal is significantly outweighed by the benefits.”
The study said the township “maintains its traffic signal system regularly and updates its signal timings frequently to address demand and fluctuations.”
It concluded that communities need to maintain their traffic signal systems regularly and to promote environmental and economic sustainability and that governing bodies need to give major attention to timely evaluation of the signal timings, McKee said.
Their results are to be presented in November to the Transportation and Development Institutes of the American Society of Civil Engineers Conference in Amarillo, Texas.