Local News

Cary Wants To Get Stoplights In Sync To Improve Traffic Flow

Posted June 17, 2003

— Drivers are frustrated because they claim traffic lights across the Triangle are not in sync, but Cary traffic engineers say they can fix it.

"Not everything is perfect, but we're trying to get a traffic signal system that will allow much better progression, but there's no absolute as once you get a green light, you drive your entire route with never hitting a red. That's impossible," said Tim Bailey, director of engineering.

Construction starts next month on what is called a complete traffic control system. Every traffic light in Cary will be fiber-optically linked to a central control center.

Computers and people will monitor the traffic flow and try to synchronize the lights to keep traffic moving. The price tag is expected to be $10 million.

In 1957, Cary built its first traffic light in front of Ashworth Drugs at the intersection of Chatham and Academy streets. Now, there are 130 traffic lights in the town and opinion is mixed on spending the money to control them.

"I'm thinking I'd be happier spending $10 million on crime, which is more of a fright and seems to be more of a growing problem," driver Alice Sloan said.

"I think it's a needy cause in the area and there's a lot of people moving into the area," driver Eddie Falcocchia said. "It's only going to get worse. We need to make the investment now."

The state has agreed to split the cost of the signal light system with Cary. Construction is set to start next month and will take up to two years. Officials say there will be traffic delays during construction.

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