LINCOLN, Neb. — A five-year transportation plan for Lincoln and Lancaster County aims to handle growing traffic by helping vehicles move through intersections more efficiently, eliminating the need for widening streets.

The Lincoln Journal Star ( ) reports that the new direction is part of the proposed Long Range Transportation Plan. The plan also looks at including sidewalks, bike trails and bus systems for the next 24 years, until 2040.

A half dozen streets previously considered candidates for future major widening projects are now on a different list of streets the city plans to study to look for ways to improve traffic without widening. Planning director David Cary said widening will still be an option, but the plan will look first at intersection improvements.

Lincoln’s movement to new technology is called Green Light Lincoln. It is a project to improve intersections by making the signal timing as efficient as possible and assuring signals communicate with one another so vehicles can move along the corridor without stops.

“The focus is on the best use of the infrastructure we already have,” Engineer Jenny Young said. She also said the goal is to address the bottlenecks, since congestion happens at the intersections and not the segments in between. This includes physical changes at intersections, adding turning lanes or using roundabouts.

City planners predict that traffic on city streets will increase from about 6 million vehicle miles traveled per day in 2015 to close to 9 million vehicle miles traveled in 2040.

The plan anticipates the city will spend about $1.9 billion on streets over the 24-year period.

Information from: Lincoln Journal Star,