Midtown News Center

$1M of Signal Improvements Underway in Year Four of Midtown Traffic Operations Program

The demonstrated success of a special program to keep people moving safely and efficiently on Midtown’s street grid – in cars, on bicycles and on foot – continues to garner new investment. 
Thanks to an additional $1 million commitment from the Georgia Department of Transportation, Midtown Alliance recently kicked off a fourth year of signal improvements as part of the Midtown Traffic Operations Program (MTOP). Launched in 2013 in partnership with the City of Atlanta, MTOP addresses transportation challenges through systematic management and optimization of more than 100 traffic and crosswalk signals.
“The relatively small investment in Midtown’s traffic signal system over the last three years has netted a sizable improvement in travel times in Midtown,” said Dan Hourigan, Midtown Alliance’s Director of Transportation and Sustainability. “The upgrades we’ll make in Year Four will help us reach our goal of creating a state-of-the-art signal system that is more easily maintained and can adapt to changing traffic conditions.”

Operational upgrades will also continue throughout this year tweaking existing signal timing and developing new signal timing plans that “flush” traffic during special events.

“We want to achieve as much efficiency as we can from our traffic signals to make traveling in Midtown easier and safer,” Hourigan explained.

High-Speed Connectivity Key to Next-Gen Signal System

Connecting Midtown’s traffic signals to the City’s Traffic Control Center (TCC) is a critical step in unlocking the full potential of signal upgrades planned for Year Four. Today, all of Midtown’s traffic signals are now synchronized to the TCC. As a result, signals can be managed remotely, saving hundreds of hours of labor physically traveling to signal cabinets and greatly accelerating response times.

To accommodate “smart city” technologies, we have also transitioned the signal communications plan from copper communications to cellular and high-speed fiber optics. Crews have installed fiber optic cable on major corridors including 14th Street, Spring Street, and West Peachtree Street. The team has also designed a path forward for fiber on Peachtree Street and Piedmont Avenue, with installation projected to begin later this year.

Keeping Midtown Moving: MTOP Yields Significant Results

Over the last three years, MTOP has been pivotal in creating efficiency gains and improved traffic flow within Midtown’s transportation network:


traffic signals managed throughout Midtown


repairs and upgrades to Midtown traffic signals during 2016


average decrease in vehicular delay across all major corridors


hours of travel time saved each year