June 13, 2019

Cárdenas, Espaillat, Schweikert Introduce Less Traffic with Smart Stop Lights Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), David Schweikert (AZ-6), and Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) introduced the Less Traffic with Smart Stop Lights Act of 2019. This bipartisan legislation would create a Smart Technology Traffic Signals Grant Program at the Department of Transportation. These grants would be used to modernize stoplight signals and, in turn, would reduce traffic, improve safety, reduce fuel costs, and lessen air pollution.

“There are real economic and environmental consequences of traffic congestion,” said Rep Cárdenas. “In 2018, each Angeleno driver spent more than 100 hours stuck in traffic. Not only does this create angry commuters, but that is millions of hours in lost productivity and it costs cities like Los Angeles billions of dollars. Reducing city traffic is smart policy and smart economics. Upgrading our traffic signals and implementing smart technologies is a real solution to this growing problem. I will not wait for this President to make infrastructure investment a priority. I’m proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in leading this effort.”

“In a city as heavily trafficked as New York, we need to use every tool in our toolbox to reduce congestion,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat. “Time spent in traffic behind the wheel means greater emissions and less productivity. I’m proud to join this effort, which will help deploy the advanced technologies at our disposal to make our traffic signals more efficient and responsive to real-time conditions, improving air pollution and fuel efficiency while reducing time spent in traffic.”

“Modernizing our infrastructure system is vital to helping us become a more efficient society,” stated Rep. Schweikert. “By crowdsourcing information and using smart technology, this legislation will use data specific to our own community’s traffic to help improve a routine in all of our daily lives. I am pleased to see us using real-time technology to gather this information.”

The Less Traffic with Smart Stop Lights Act directs the Secretary of Transportation to establish a Smart Technology Traffic Signals Grants Program.  Upgrading to smart technologies and utilizing the vast amount of user-generated data, traffic signals can anticipate changing traffic patterns and adapt in real time, reducing traffic jams. In the City of Los Angeles, the Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control (ATSAC) System provides real-time monitoring and adjustment of signal timing for nearly 4,600 signalized intersections. ATSAC has reduced travel time by 12% and increase speeds by 16%.

States and municipalities are investing in much-needed maintenance and improvements to roadways and transportation systems. This bill would ensure that cities like Los Angeles receive federal funding and that the Federal government is doing its part to support the deployment of smart technology to improve traffic synchronization and help the flow of vehicles and pedestrians using the roads.