Community Relations Specialist
Driving through multiple cities without stopping at red lights can be difficult and time consuming, in part because each city controls its own traffic signals. OCTA is helping to synchronize traffic lights across the county to improve the quality of your drive.
Orange County’s population is expected to increase 13 percent by 2035, and that means more drivers on our roadways. To ease growing traffic demands, OCTA, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the County of Orange and all 34 cities are working together to coordinate traffic lights across the county.
Traffic signal synchronization allows a series of lights to turn green in advance of arriving traffic based on synchronized timers set to current traffic conditions and congestion levels.
OCTA improves traffic flow by coordinating traffic lights across city boundaries. Most signal timing projects result in a 5 to 15 percent improvement in travel time and speed, reducing
travel times, stops and delays.
OCTA typically funds signal coordination projects that use time-based synchronization. This technique maintains a long string of green lights across city boundaries using an accurate time reference to coordinate signals. Coordinated signals allow green lights to “cascade” in sequence so a group of vehicles can proceed through multiple green lights before stopping at a red light.
Signal synchronization is a cost-effective way to minimize congestion by improving street and road capacity without costly and disruptive new construction. Projects throughout the county have been funded by a variety of local, state and federal sources.
After completing two demonstration projects on Euclid Street and Oso Parkway/Pacific Park Drive, OCTA advanced signal synchronization efforts along ten arterial corridors (Alicia Parkway, Beach Boulevard, Chapman Avenue, Orangethorpe Avenue, Edinger Avenue, Brookhurst Street, El Toro Road, Yorba Linda Boulevard, La Palma Avenue and Katella Avenue) comprised of 553 signalized intersections on 158 miles of roadway. This $8 million effort was funded by Proposition 1B Grants and theMeasure M1 Traffic Light Synchronization Program (TLSP). The ten projects helped traffic traveling through many cities throughout the county.
In 2011, OCTA implemented signal synchronization along three more corridors (Bristol Street/State College Boulevard, Harbor Boulevard, and Westminster Avenue/17th Street) to ensure compliance with the Southern California Association of Governments Transportation Control Measure. The corridors include 252 signalized intersections and 46 miles of roadway through ten jurisdictions. The project budget was $1.8 million and was funded by federal transit and air quality revenues.
While OCTA makes it a priority to pursue external funding first, OCTA also provides assistance to implement multi-agency signal synchronization as part of the Measure M2 Regional Traffic Synchronization Program (RTSP), also referred to as Project P.
The Measure M2 Project P 2015 Call for Projects awarded nearly $12.5 million for seven projects that included 23 jurisdictions to synchronize more than 261 signals along 73 miles of Orange County streets and roads.
2016 M2 Projects: Brookhurst Street. El Toro Road, Fairview Road, Irvine Center Drive/Edinger Avenue, Magnolia Street, Marguerite Parkway, and Von Karman/Tustin Ranch Road
The Measure M2 Project P 2015 Call for Projects awarded nearly $16 million for seven projects that included 19 jurisdictions to synchronize more than 310 signals along 81 miles of Orange County streets and roads.
2015 M2 Projects: Chapman Avenue, Westminster Avenue/17th Street, Alicia Parkway, Imperial Highway/SR-90, Malvern Avenue/Chapman Avenue (North), Coast Highway, and La Palma Avenue
The Measure M2 Project P 2014 Call for Projects awarded approximately $8 million for ten 10 projects that included 14 jurisdictions to synchronize more than 230 signals along 59 miles of Orange County streets and roads.
2014 M2 Projects: Anaheim Boulevard, Orangewood Avenue, Birch Street/Rose Drive, Artesia Boulevard, Bristol Street, Sunflower Avenue, El Toro Road, Moulton Parkway, La Paz Road, and Harbor Boulevard
The Measure M2 Project P 2013 Call for Projects awarded nearly $15 million for 14 projects that included 15 jurisdictions to synchronize more than 500 signals along 108 miles of Orange County streets and roads.
2013 M2 Projects: Antonio Parkway, Newport Boulevard (South), Bake Parkway, Kraemer/Glassell/Grand, Adams Avenue, Seal Beach/Los Alamitos Boulevard, Barranca Parkway, Main Street, State College Boulevard, Alton Parkway, Newport Avenue/Boulevard, Harbor Boulevard, Trabuco Road, and Jeronimo Road
OCTA was awarded a $1.25 million Mobile Source Air Pollution Review Committee (MSRC) Grant in matching funds for six projects awarded as part of the 2013 Call, including 131 signals along 38 miles of Orange County streets and roads through nine jurisdictions. These matching funds build on the Measure M2 investment and allow OCTA to deploy additional resources to signal synchronization through future Calls for Projects.
MSRC Grant Projects: Adams Avenue, Antonio Parkway, Jeronimo Road, Newport Avenue/Boulevard, State College Boulevard, and Trabuco Road.
The Measure M2 Project P 2012 Call for Projects awarded nearly $10 million for 24 projects that included 26 jurisdictions to synchronize more than 1,000 signals along 286 miles of Orange County streets and roads.
2012 M2 Projects: Ball Road, Knott Avenue, 17th Street, Baker Street/Placentia Avenue, Victoria Street, Brea Boulevard, Commonwealth Avenue, Lemon Street/Anaheim Boulevard, Placentia Avenue (Fullerton), Culver Drive, Jeffrey Road, La Harbra Boulevard/Central Avenue/State College Boulevard, Lake Forest Drive, Pacific Park/Oso Parkway, Paseo de Valencia, Los Alisos Boulevard, Newport Coast Drive, San Joaquin Hills Road, Antonio Parkway (RSM), Santa Margarita Parkway, Avenida Vista Hermosa, Camino de Los Mares, Edinger Avenue, and First Street/Bolsa Avenue
The Measure M2 Project P 2011 Call for Projects awarded nearly $8 million for 17 projects that included 25 jurisdictions to synchronize more than 500 signals along 141 miles of Orange County streets and roads.
2011 M2 Projects: Lincoln Avenue, Valley View Street, Fairview Road, Warner Avenue, Bastanchury Road, Euclid Street, Goldenwest Street, Jamboree Road, Lambert Road, Crown Valley Parkway, Marguerite Parkway, Avenida Pico, El Camino Real, Del Obispo Street, MacArthur Boulevard/Talbert Avenue, and Tustin Avenue/Rose Drive
91 Express Lanes
OCTA Administrative Office
550 S. Main StreetOrange, CA 92868