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City of Tulsa working to sync lights

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Reported by: Janna Clark
Updated: 10/02/2013 3:43 pm Published: 10/02/2013 3:42 pm

The city of Tulsa is working to make commutes quicker by synchronizing traffic lights.

FOX23 Investigative Reporter Janna Clark looked into why it is taking years to get it done.

On 71st from Riverside Drive all the way to the east side of Tulsa, the lights are synchronized.

But on 41st it's a different story, one the city is trying to change, but it's been a long time coming.

Taylor Wilson and his crew drive all day for work. Wilson said he spends a lot of gas and time sitting at stoplights.

"Yeah, get stopped up quite a bit," he said, too much money and too many minutes to keep track.

FOX23 has been reporting stories for nearly a decade about the city's plan to synchronize lights.

The idea is once you hit a green light, as long as you go the speed limit, you should keep hitting green lights.

The city's Kurt Kraft told FOX23 his plan has always been to synchronize lights along every city street.

The first were those downtown, they've been that way for decades.

In 2004, the city synced lights from 21st street from Utica to Lewis. In 2006, it was 71st street from Memorial to Garnett.

Then, nothing new for seven years.

Kraft told FOX23 that between 2006 and 2010 the city faced layoffs and was short on engineers to work on synching the lights.

But then a few months ago, in May, the city synchronized lights at several areas at the same time:

• extended 71st street all the way to highway 75

• extended 21st to the Broken Arrow Expressway

• Memorial from 31st south to 111th.

• Yale from 15th to 71st

• Riverside from Peoria south to the Creek Turnpike

The city's next planned projects include syncing lights on Sheridan from 31st to 71st street and on 41st Street from Yale to Memorial.

The city said synchronizing lights costs $7,000 per intersection

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