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Smart Traffic Signals Pilot

Every year, nearly 30 people lose their lives on San Francisco’s streets in traffic crashes. In support of the city’s Vision Zero policy and goal to eliminate all traffic fatalities, the SFMTA is launching a Smart Traffic Signals initiative.

Project Timeline 
January 2017
Received $11 million grant
2018 and beyond
Deploy Smart City pilots
Project Status 

The Smart Traffic Signals Pilot will explore the use of Multimodal Intelligent Traffic Signal Systems (MMITSS), Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC), Transit Signal Priority (TSP), and Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) technology to provide priority to emergency and transit vehicles. Multimodal Intelligent Traffic Signal Systems can also detect pedestrians and bicycles to provide them leading intervals, scrambles, and/or protected phasing. Proposed locations will include those intersections, corridors, or areas that have been identified as high-priority Vision Zero pedestrian collision locations.

Project Goals

The main goals for Smart Traffic Signals Pilot include the following:

  • Improve safety and reduce collisions, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Provide transit travel time savings
  • Decrease emergency vehicle response times

Project History

The SFMTA originally developed the Smart Traffic Signals Pilot as part of the city’s 2016 Smart City Challenge proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Though this grant was ultimately awarded to Columbus, Ohio, San Francisco was one of seven finalists for the award and was able to pursue other opportunities to advance elements of the Smart City Challenge. From these efforts, the city received an $11 million grant from the U.S. DOT’s Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment program, to pursue the Smart Traffic Signals Pilot and other elements of the Smart City Challenge proposal.

Contact Information 
Darton Ito, Deputy Director for Innovation and Program Delivery