Lights! Cameras! Action!

Mayor Villaraigosa, City Council member Wendy Greuel and a bevy of media traipsed out to Reseda and Rinaldi this afternoon for the unveiling of a high-tech traffic control system on major streets along the 118 or Ronald Reagan Freeway. Lights at all the big intersections on Devonshire and Rinaldi streets, from Balboa west to Topanga Canyon Boulevard, are now synchronized by City Hall’s master traffic computer. In theory, engineers can adjust the length of red and green lights to move traffic faster when jams occur or something shuts down the freeway. Cameras mounted above certain key corners are part of the system. The Ventura Freeway corridor east of Reseda Boulevard and the streets paralleling the 405 (Sepulveda Blvd. and Haskell Avenue, north from Victory) were already wired into the Adaptive Traffic Control System.

Good news about those left-turn arrows: New left-turn signals being added at 160 Los Angeles intersections will mainly be of the sort that fade to a green ball, not a red arrow. Sean Skehan of the DOT explained to me that they are the default in Los Angeles since they move traffic more efficiently. Turns are typically only limited to the green arrow at intersections with two or more turn lanes headed the same direction, or a history of left-turn accidents. Turning them off at night is still too complicated and would require retrofitting the equipment at hundreds of intersections.