The city’s first traffic lights, on Michigan Avenue was at Jackson Boulevard in September 1923. The entire system of Michigan Avenue lights were purchased and installed by the Yellow Cab Co which cost $34,000.
Even though the new synchronized lights performed flawlessly, motorists were confused by the new left-turn-only lanes. They were going in circles for half an hour.
State Street looking north from Washington Street, showing installation of Electric Traffic Signal Post. Two hundred eighty of these electric traffic signals have been installed on one-hundred thirty-six intersections. The system of control is unusual in that it provides for progressive movement of traffic through the loop. This also allows control of the speed of vehicle in both directions, as the average speed of vehicles has been calculated and a vehicle exceeding this average speed runs into a red signal at the next intersection and must wait to resume its course. The control of these forty-nine loop intersection signals is effected from the basement of the City Hall where the electric control boards and power units are installed, and from which cables to each signal lead. The installation of this system has shortened the actual running time of vehicles through the loop.
A typical installation of Chicago Electric Traffic Signal System is an outlying section of the city. These signals are controlled by individual controllers placed at the intersection. Controller for the timing and operation of these signals is shown on corner at left-center of picture.
Traffic Tower at Michigan and Jackson
Officer Henry J. Klem operates a new manual traffic light at Wilson and Broadway. About 1922
Channelization, safety island and traffic control at 55th and Archer and Narragansett help to prevent accidents at a potentially dangerous intersection.