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Better synchronized traffic lights would help with gas

Staff Report • Feb 23, 2012 at 8:24 AM

With fuel prices now well above $3.40 a gallon, many Americans are once again reminded how important it is to take steps to save a few dollars at the gas pumps. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, one of the easiest is to simply slow down, The EPA says motorists can improve their gas mileage by 15 percent by driving 55 mph rather than 65 mph.

And as we’ve said in this space many times before, Johnson City officials must do a better job of coordinating the timing of traffic lights throughout the city. Motorists should not be left idling at signalized intersections that don’t seem to be in tune with the flow of traffic. It’s frustrating for drivers to find themselves stopped at every traffic light in the city.

The National Transportation Operations Coalition says better coordination of traffic lights is one of the best means of reducing traffic congestion by as much as 10 percent, not to mention saving fuel and slashing pollution.

In recent years, Johnson City public works officials have assured us the synchronization of traffic lights is as good as it can be. We hear from drivers regularly who find that claim hard to believe. So do we.

Unquestionably, Johnson City’s streets have become much more congested over the past decade. That’s why now, more than ever, the city needs a sensible transportation strategy that quickly and safely moves traffic through the area.

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