The City of Minneapolis has just finished upgrading traffic signal controllers at about 200 downtown intersections, with the goal of reducing travel times.
New hardware and software helps engineers monitor and more easily adjust traffic lights to match demands, said Minneapolis Public Works Director Steve Kotke.
"When we can keep traffic moving more and not have so much idling time and traffic congestion, it really helps in fuel consumption and more importantly the emissions and air pollution," he said.
City officials say drivers have already started noticing reduced commute times along well-traveled streets during morning and evening rush hours.
To take advantage of re-timed lights drivers should maintain steady speeds and stay in their lanes, said Minneapolis traffic engineer Nick Vangunst.
The project cost just over $11 million. A federal grant paid for 80 percent of it. Traffic timing for signals throughout the rest of the city should be completed by next summer, said Vangunst.