Signal retiming projects in several U.S. and Canadian cities reduced fuel consumption by 2 to 9 percent.

Signal Retiming Projects in the US and Canada

April 2004
Statewide; Texas; United States; Montgomery County; Maryland; United States; St. Augustine; Florida; United States; Gainesville; Florida; United States; Statewide; California; United States; Burlington; Ontario; Canada

Summary Information

Optimizing traffic signal timing is considered a low-cost, high-benefit approach to reducing congestion. Signal timing strategies include the minimization of stops, delays, fuel consumption and air pollution emissions and the maximization of the traffic progression through the system.

The article, "The Benefits of Retiming Traffic Signals", presented in the ITE Journal is an interim product of the ITE Traffic Engineering Council's project TENC-101-02. This article describes the who, what, when, why, and how of traffic signal retiming. The presentation "Benefits of Retiming Traffic Signals: A Reference for Practitioners and Decision Makers About the Benefits of Traffic Signal Retiming"1 was presented at the 2005 Annual ITE meeting and provides similar information.

Signal retiming provides significant direct benefits for the traveling public. One of these benefits is the reduced delay experienced by motorists. Delay savings are more apparent for motorists traveling along coordinated signalized arterials. Improved signal timing also has indirect benefits. Better coordination along major arterials minimizes the diversion of traffic to local and residential streets, improving safety and traffic conditions. It also leads to reduced fuel consumption, reduced emissions, and improved air quality.

1 Harris, J., Benefits of Retiming Traffic Signals: A Reference for Practitioners and Decision Makers About the Benefits of Traffic Signal Retiming. Presentation at ITE 2005 Annual Meeting and Exhibit, 7-10 August 2005.


A synthesis of various traffic signal retiming projects across the U.S. and Canada revealed that:
  • Fuel consumption can decrease by 2 to 9 percent.
Below are a few examples of successful signal retiming projects that benefited from reduced fuel consumption:
  • The Traffic Light Synchronization Program in Texas reduced fuel consumption by 9.1 percent.
  • In Montgomery County, MD traffic signal retiming reduced fuel consumption by 2 percent.
  • Traffic signal retiming at 11 intersections on U.S. Route 1 in St. Augustine, Florida resulted in annual fuel savings of 26,000 gallons.
  • A retiming project for eight intersections on State Route 26 in Gainesville, Florida resulted in annual fuel savings of 3,300 gallons.
  • In Burlington, Canada, signal retiming at 62 intersections lowered fuel consumption by 6 percent.
  • The Fuel Efficient Traffic Signal Management (FETSIM) Program in California demonstrated a reduction in fuel consumption of 8.6 percent.

Benefit Comments

No comments posted to date

Comment on this Benefit

To comment on this summary, fill in the information below and click on submit. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field. Your name and email address, if provided, will not be posted, but are to contact you, if needed to clarify your comments.


The Benefits of Retiming Traffic Signals

Author: Sunkari, Srinivasa, P.E.

Published By: ITE Journal

Source Date: April 2004



Average User Rating

0 ( ratings)

Rate this Benefit

(click stars to rate)


Benefit of the Month for December, 2009 !

Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas


coordinated signals, signal coordination, centralized signal control, signal synchronization, traffic signals, advanced signal control, signal timing optimization, coordinated signal control, advanced signal controller, traffic signal retiming, retiming

Benefit ID: 2007-00393