LA Stoplights in Sync But Road War Endures

LA is worldwide leader by synchronizing its nearly 4,400 traffic lights

By Jason Kandel
|  Saturday, May 25, 2013  |  Updated 2:50 PM PDT
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LA Stoplights in Sync But Road War Endures

Getty Images / Scott Olson

Los Angeles, one of the worst cities for traffic, leads the country in improving traffic flow by synchronizing stoplights. In this file photo, a traffic light controls the flow of vehicles and pedestrians April 20, 2005 near downtown Chicago, Illinois.

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It seems the impossible has occurred: The nation's most congested city has become a model for traffic control.

Gridlock still prevails and drivers' blood pressure still spikes as LA's traffic arteries seize up during morning and afternoon rush hours.

PHOTOS: Los Angeles Traffic Headaches

Yet, with the flip of a switch earlier this year, Los Angeles became a worldwide leader by synchronizing all of its nearly 4,400 stoplights.

It is the first major city to do so.

The result: Drive times have been reduced by 12 percent across major LA traffic corridors.

During rush hour, however, it's still hell to cross the City of the Angels by car.

The problem, according to traffic officials is this: Synchronization only works well when the streets aren't so clogged with cars as to make them almost impassable.

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