Install sensor operated streetlights based on traffic needs, not a pre-programmed time . Why continue to have a green light when no traffic?
If we want to increase the Austin area traffic flow, we first need to address what actually controls the flow: the street lights.
We recently moved here two years ago from the Seattle area, also a heavy traffic area. We immediately noticed how slow the traffic lights were. Why would a green light stay open, sometimes literally for another minute, if there is no more traffic needing to flow through the intersection? Seattle area lights operate based on inductive loop sensors that tells when vehicles are present or not present. No vehicles passing over the loop for a set amount of time, triggers a green light to change to red. In a left turn lane, a sensor activates a light to change only when a car is waiting. If there is no car waiting, then no left turn signal. In addition, when the left turn is activated, once the light turns green, as each cars travels over the sensor, it extends the green light period a short time to allow the traffic turning left to clear. They are called Smart Lights and work through sensors, eyes and other types of signaling devices. Drivers get very frustrated when a major traffic signal only allows 3 cars to turn and then goes red, and there are still another
10 cars waiting to turn left. Not only does this not clear traffic, it makes drivers increasingly irritated and contributes to vehicles running the light after it changes to red, increasing the chance of an accident. This is not just an Austin problem, it's an Austin area problem.
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