Local News

Fayetteville Leaders Ready to Put a Stop on Red Lights

Posted October 3, 1999

— It has happened to all of us. You stop at a red light and wait for what seems like hours for it to turn green. However, thecity of Fayettevilleis getting ready to speed up your trip.

Waiting for a red light to turn green can drive you nuts.

"This is the most uncoordinated traffic system I've ever seen. [It can take] anywhere from six to seven minutes when they're out of sequence," said one motorist.

It does seem like forever, but in reality, the longest you will wait for a red light in Fayetteville is about two and a half minutes. The city wants to do better.

"The traffic signals should be changing to service the other streets," said Ken Lake, traffic signal supervisor.

Lake says the problem is old equipment or no equipment at all. Twenty-four lights in downtown Fayetteville do not have "car" sensors, and many others are poorly timed.

That will soon change. Starting in January, a new multi-million dollar system will be installed, one of just five in the country.

"The wait time will be a lot less, and traffic will flow more efficiently and smoothly throughout the city," said Lake.

Every traffic light in the city will be controlled by computers, and adjustments to lights can be made at the office. Twelve traffic cameras will also monitor the city's busiest intersections.

Impatient motorists give the idea a green light.

"That would be great, I'd like to see it happen. The city is expanding, and there's lots of traffic out there," said motorist Steve Harvel.

The total cost will be $9 million, and 80 percent will be paid for with federal gasoline tax money. The state and city will split the rest.


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