The City of Elk Grove has utilized signal synchronization along many streets within its limits. The purpose of signal synchronization is to make traffic patterns more efficient. It is frustrating as a driver to speed up, slow down and stop, then repeat the process over and over as you hit red light after red light on arterial streets. The goal of synchronizing traffic signals is that drivers traveling the speed limit will have the signal turn green as they approach, eliminating, or at least reducing, the frustrating pattern of stop and go.
Signal synchronization can mean that side street and left turn lane lights are red for longer periods of time, and even when there is no cross traffic. This occurs because the synchronized signals are functioning as a group, and the major arterial streets get priority passage. The time “wasted” waiting for a side street or left turn lane to turn green should be easily recovered within the smooth passage on the main streets. It is also important to note that the synchronization if in effect during heavy traffic times only, such as 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, although some areas are scheduled to be synced during the day on weekends as well. Late at night, when the system is not in operation, a side street light should not take as long to turn green.
Sometimes it may seem like a traffic signal is delayed more then usual, making a wait for a green light longer. This may be due to the signal getting back into the synchronization pattern after having been disrupted for some reason.