It's one of the more frustrating aspects of city driving.

You obey all of the traffic signals, including driving the speed limit, and what's your reward?

You get to sit at every red light, at every intersection, wasting both gas and time.

The only thing more annoying is when there isn't even any cross traffic while you sit idle, enjoying the view.

Why can't city officials simply sync the traffic signals, at least time them so they change based on how long it would take a driver to travel from one to the next at the speed limit, or the traffic flow on intersecting streets?

The answer, apparently, is it's not that simple and it takes a chunk of money.

If that's the case, rather than grouse "It's about time," we'll just be thankful York City officials are finally addressing the problem on two of its major arteries.

The city plans to spend about $180,000 in state grant money to synchronize the traffic signals on Market and George streets, according to director of public works Jim Grove.

When complete in about a year, the project will allow the signal lights to detect traffic on cross streets and switch based on needs rather than at a set time.

Some of the money also will be used for a study to determine other needs specific to York City.

The project is one of two new efforts to make the city more user friendly for drivers.

City officials last week unveiled 30 new "smart" parking meters downtown.

The solar- and battery-powered devices allow drivers to use credit cards as well as coins when they park, which might allow them to avoid tickets if they happen to be short on change.

The city is using them for a month at no charge to see how they work, after which officials will decide if they want to make the meters permanent fixtures.

While we have to wait for the reviews, the meters, as well as the traffic light project, are promising signs the city is striving to make traveling in York more convenient.

That makes sense: If you want to attract more visitors downtown, stop annoying them.