Turn off traffic lights during off-peak

Turn off the majority of traffic lights during off-peak periods. This will allow traffic to flow naturally and not unnecessarily create traffic because you are waiting for the traffic light sequence to run through (even though you might be the only person on the road). It will also reduce pollution from the cars no longer having to wait in idle. The added benefit of this is the saving on energy. I've never quite understood why all traffics need to show the green light at all times.

Why the contribution is important

Three tangible benefits immediately spring to mind: 1. Energy saving on having to power traffic lights 24/7 2. Better traffic flow 3. Reduction in pollution

by user789399 on November 20, 2013 at 01:13PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.4
Based on: 13 votes


  • Posted by user694579 November 21, 2013 at 10:53

    I have never quite understood why we have to have traffic lights on 24/7. It is quite frustrating when you have to repeatedly stop at lights when there isn't another vehicle/person to be seen for miles. People will need to be aware they still need to slow down and check for traffic though. It would be worth piloting it and measuring the benefits/risks before rolling-out City-wide
    Please note - I do think traffic lights should remain active on any lights that incorporate pedestrian crossings
  • Posted by user372062 November 21, 2013 at 11:01

    On the surface this sounds like a good idea but I would expect we are all out of our depths in understanding how efficient this really is; what consequences there are for all users etc.

    Saying that, it must be a common idea in cities around the world, perhaps there is research/evidence that can be referred to.

    There would still be some concerns for me - ie. what about pedestrians needing to cross large junctions? Even when cars are scarce it can be dangerous when there is no green man to help. And also cyclists going round big roundabouts etc?
  • Posted by user402472 November 22, 2013 at 19:48

    +1 to this idea
  • Posted by user345652 November 27, 2013 at 11:46

    Dept of Transport are, supposedly, considering allowing the adoption of the 'flashing amber' default as used elsewhere in Europe. (road sensors tell when traffic volumes are low and the lights default to flashing amber).. Bristol could ask/offer to be a pilot city for the change.
  • Posted by user197097 November 30, 2013 at 21:33

    How are pedestrians supposed to cope when safe crossing are closed down (remember many crossings are part of junction traffic lights)? This was considerably reduce safety and mobility for many less mobile people.
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