Implement a communication structure across jurisdictions that facilitates the flow of traffic data and allows agencies to coordinate traffic signal timing.

Phoenix and Seattle’s experiences with coordinating traffic signal timing across jurisdictional boundaries.

Phoenix,Arizona,United States; Seattle,Washington,United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

Develop a cross-jurisdictional communications infrastructure that allows jurisdictions to share real-time traffic operations information and update signal plans. The idea of a multi-jurisdictional system allows regional goals to be initiated and achieved.

Signal coordination requires careful planning for maximum efficiency. In the Scottsdale/Tempe area, the boundary for coordination previously existed at a jurisdictional separation. Moving this coordination boundary to a more functional boundary (Loop 202) has provided a seamless commute from one jurisdiction to the next. A functional boundary is an area at which traffic signal coordination is less of an issue. For the Phoenix area, regional traffic signal coordination has been achieved through careful planning and increased coordination efforts.

Local participants predict that careful coordination and cooperation will have a long-range impact on traffic operations in the East Valley, and that maintaining and updating coordination and communication efforts will provide increased benefits in the future. Ideas such as this can provide municipalities with the framework needed to deploy similar Smart Corridor systems.

Benefits similar to those witnessed in Phoenix (reductions in traveler delays, decrease in crash risk) were observed in a traffic signal modeling effort in Seattle.

Lesson Comments

No comments posted to date

Comment on this Lesson

To comment on this lesson, 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.


Cross-Jurisdictional Signal Coordination in Phoenix and Seattle

Author: Carter, Mark, Hesham Rakha

Published By: USDOT ITS JPO

Source Date: 10/1/2000

EDL Number: 13222

Other Reference Number: FHWA-OP-01-036

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/4119

Lesson Contacts

Lesson Contact(s):

Mark Carter

Lesson Analyst:

Jane Lappin
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center


Average User Rating

0 ( ratings)

Rate this Lesson

(click stars to rate)


United States

Systems Engineering

Show the V

None defined


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

Lesson ID: 2005-00048