Computerized Traffic Signals Being Installed


The city of Los Angeles has begun installing a $3-million computerized system to control traffic signals along major streets in Westchester, Playa del Rey and the vicinity of Los Angeles International Airport.

The Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control System will interconnect signals at 86 intersections in an effort to speed the flow of traffic and reduce fuel consumption and air pollution.

Sensors will be buried in the pavement to allow a central computer at Los Angeles City Hall to monitor the volume of traffic and congestion on major streets. Traffic lights will be automatically adjusted for changing conditions.

The airport area system, scheduled to be in operation by January, will be financed by development fees and gas tax revenues. Installation of the advanced systems is often required to reduce the traffic impact of major residential, commercial and office developments.


Three of the systems are operating in downtown Los Angeles, near the Los Angeles Coliseum, and along Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley. A fourth system is nearing completion in the Westwood/UCLA area.

While other cities have automated traffic signal systems, Ed Rowe, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, said the system here is “generally considered to be the state of the art--probably the most advanced system in the country today.”

Rowe said the airport area was selected because it has four of the 10 busiest intersections in Los Angeles. Traffic lights as far north as the Hughes Corporate Center in Westchester, as far east as La Cienega Boulevard, as far south as Imperial Highway, and as far west as Vista del Mar Boulevard, will be linked together.

Eventually, the system will grow to 114 intersections when the LAX Northside project, a major office and hotel development is built, and the Century Freeway is completed.