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EG to Create a “Green Wave”

Press Release

Press Release - Elk Grove to Create a “Green Wave” Along Major East-West Arterial Roads

Posted: 01/27/2020

Motorists travelling across Elk Grove will soon have the chance to catch the “green wave.” Beginning February 3, the City of Elk Grove will implement significant timing changes for all traffic signals along Elk Grove Boulevard and Laguna Boulevard/Bond Road between Bruceville Road and Elk Grove-Florin Road.

These changes are intended to reduce travel times and improve travel time reliability along these major east-west thoroughfares by improving the coordination of the traffic signals. The signals will be re-timed so that vehicles traveling east or west at the posted speed limit (typically 45 MPH for Elk Grove Blvd and Laguna/Bond) will have a greater probability of getting green lights. This type of signal coordination is referred to as a “green wave”. Vehicles that stay in the green wave by travelling at the posted speed limit will experience a reduction in traffic and travel times.

“Vehicles travelling eastbound on Elk Grove Boulevard during the peak of the evening commute should see a reduction in travel time of at least 10 percent,” said Elk Grove Public Works Director, Bob Murdoch. “Signal coordination will also make it easier to predict how long it will take to travel along these corridors.”

In order to accommodate the signal coordination, the signal timing cycle lengths will be increased at each intersection. This will allow the signals to stay in coordination for longer periods of time. The changes will also include modifying the left turns so that they will coincide better with the coordination. This means that some left turns will turn green after the associated through movement instead of before it. The change to the left turn phasing is being done in order to increase the amount of time for the green wave.

“Signal coordination improvements are not fail safe and the coordination may be interrupted by changing roadway conditions such as emergency vehicle preemption and lane closures,” cautioned Elk Grove Traffic Engineer, Ryan Chapman. “In general, the coordination plans make it more likely for drivers to receive a green light and should significantly reduce the number of red lights someone encounters when travelling along these corridors.”

Signal coordination is identified as a key component of the City’s Traffic Congestion Management Plan (TCMP) that was introduced to the City Council in April 2019. The TCMP highlights a two-phased approach to implementing new signal coordination timing plans on Elk Grove Boulevard and Laguna Boulevard/Bond Road. Phase 1, which will go into effect on February 3rd, includes new signal coordination plans for the following corridors:

  • Elk Grove Boulevard – From Bruceville Road to Elk Grove-Florin Road
  • Laguna Boulevard – From Bruceville Road to Bond Road
  • Bond Road – From Laguna Boulevard to Elk Grove-Florin Road

Phase 2 of the signal coordination plans is funded in the next budget year (Fiscal Year 2020/2021). Implementation is expected in Spring 2021. The Phase 2 coordination plans will be developed for the following corridors:

  • Elk Grove Boulevard – From Interstate 5 (I-5) to Bruceville Road
  • Laguna Boulevard – From Interstate 5 (I-5) to Bruceville Road

Coordination plans along other roads will be developed in future years as part of the City’s ongoing efforts to better manage traffic congestion throughout the City.

For questions or comments about the new signal coordination plans, please contact Public Works at 916-478-2256. For more information or to review the Traffic Congestion Management Plan please visit the Traffic Engineering page at www.elkgrovecity.org.

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