PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Imagine driving from Downtown Pittsburgh to the South Hills without catching a red light.
Special funding announced this week may make that possible.
West Liberty Avenue is like a lot of roads in our area. It doesn’t really seem to matter when you drive it or how often — there’s just one stop light after another.
But driving on some area roads could become a breeze in the future because an air quality improvement grant is going to add new high-tech traffic lights to reduce congestion.
“It’s really about improving some of these congested areas that we’ve all been stuck in over the years,” Rich Fitzgerald, vice chair of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, said.
The areas that will see improvements include Washington Road, Banksville Road, areas in and around the Liberty Tunnels and parts of Routes 51 and 88, among others. Adaptive traffic signal systems will be installed that will make it possible to drive major stretches of roadway without hitting a red light.
“It’s an improvement for everybody in the region,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s not just for people who live in the South Hills.”
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission applied for and received $34 million in grant money to improve not just traffic flows, but also air quality.
“Without people sitting, idling, at the traffic lights as often, the air quality for our whole region will improve,” Fitzgerald said.
But slow down. Take your foot off the gas.
The improvements, which could also include adding things like turning lanes, won’t happen until 2021 and 2022. And it does involve some construction, so things could get a little jammed up before they get better.