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Tue, Oct. 22

Editorial : Could traffic signal tech saving drivers 70 hours per year equal less accidents?

The Arizona Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the City of Prescott and the Town of Prescott Valley, just gave its commuters 70 hours of their lives back each year. (Courier stock photo)

The Arizona Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the City of Prescott and the Town of Prescott Valley, just gave its commuters 70 hours of their lives back each year. (Courier stock photo)

The Arizona Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the City of Prescott and the Town of Prescott Valley, just gave its commuters 70 hours of their lives back each year.

And all it took was a little technology on Highway 69 to accomplish.

ADOT announced Sept. 18 that drivers, on average, are experiencing a drive time between Prescott and Prescott Valley of 17 minutes, down from 25 minutes.

Why?

A new Intelligent Transportation System was installed on the 20 traffic signals between the two towns in 2018, and was fully operational in the spring of 2019.

Yes, this does impact drivers waiting to turn onto Highway 69 with longer wait times on side roads, but in the long run, the big picture is more important.

How?

If drivers manage to save 8 minutes per commute, that’s 16 minutes for a round trip. And assuming a person makes five trips a week for work between the two towns, that’s 80 minutes per week, or 4,160 minutes per year, which equals 69.3 hours saved.

Spending 70 hours per year less in our cars seems like a good deal, right? That’s more time with family, or free time to read a book, go camping, hiking, or binge-watch a favorite Netflix show.

Dealer’s choice.

And with that time saved, maybe local drivers won’t feel as rushed to get to work in the morning, that mid-evening movie or that lunch meeting across town with a client.

That means safer streets for everyone.

It may take years of study sessions and reports to reveal a safer Highway 69 between Prescott and Prescott Valley, but ADOT’s first step of a larger plan to install more traffic-signal technology locally could change our streets for the better.

And that’s all that matters.

— The Daily Courier

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