Profile America: First Traffic Light

On August 5, 1914, the world's first electric traffic signal is put into place. Pinterest

On August 5, 1914, the world’s first electric traffic signal is put into place. Pinterest

Friday, August 4 — In this first week of August 103 years ago, American motorists got the green light to safely proceed through increasingly traveled crossroads. A traffic light system, credited with being the first in the U.S., flashed red and green at the intersection of 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio.

To further prompt drivers, the words “Stop” and “Move” were emblazoned on the operating red and green lights. At the time, there were about 1.8 million motor vehicles in the U.S., six times more than just five years earlier. Now, there are over 260 million motor vehicles crowding our roads. Traffic lights control the flow of this congestion, leaving Americans with an average one-way commute of nearly 26 minutes.

You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, here.

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