Tyler MPO to use federal carbon reduction funding to improve traffic signals

Tyler MPO to use federal carbon reduction funding to improve traffic signals
Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 9:38 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Tyler Metropolitan Planning Organization today approved the use of federal funding to improve traffic signals in the area. The project will also upgrade traffic cameras and pedestrian equipment on major roads and state highways.

The project’s goal is to improve traffic flow, therefore reducing carbon emissions.

“Having a more efficient transportation network where we have better-coordinated signals, we have more reduction by having fewer cars that are sitting at a red light and continuously pumping out those emissions,” said Tyler MPO Director Michael Howell.

The project, totaling $6.4 million over ten years, is set to begin in fiscal year 2025. The funding has been allocated from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The amount for the first three years, which are currently planned, is $3.2 million. Complete remodeling of several downtown traffic lights will commence in year one, followed by camera improvements and pedestrian efforts in years two and three.

“A lot of the traffic signals you have downtown may be as old as forty,” said Howell. “It’s very old technology, it wasn’t really wasn’t put there to have that nice connected feature where you could have that program-to-program connection, they’re just kind of an island on their own.”

Howell said the goal of new cameras is to help identify cars that are currently sitting in the respective intersection. He says the city is also implementing fiber communications to help move traffic.

“The fiber options kind of connect one intersection to the next so you actually have not just the one signal that says, ‘oh, I know that there’s a car right here, but you can actually have them linked and talking to each other,” said Howell.