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DOT Hopes Signal System Overhaul Will Improve Traffic Flow On Capital Boulevard

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The state Department of Transportation said it has improved traffic flow on some portions of Capital Boulevard by adjusting traffic signal cycles. Judging by calls, e-mails, and letters, many of WRAL's viewers disagree, saying U.S. 1 is a capital mess, but relief could soon be on the way.

During Monday's lunch hour, WRAL measured the drive time from the Beltline to about 1 mile north to the Starmount area. With all of the traffic on the road, it took two minutes, 39 seconds from the Beltline to Starmount.

Sylvester Gray said his daily drive on Capital Boulevard is maddening.

"I don't really know how to describe it because there's so many cars out there now. That's about the best I can say, but it's frustrating," he said.

DOT officials said drivers on Capital Boulevard from Mini-City to Gresham Lake should already be feeling the positives of signal light timing to keep the flow going. Lights from Mini-City into downtown Raleigh are older and are not so easily adjusted.

DOT officials said a $25 million signal system overhaul is the answer.

"If we can get it funded in our transporation improvement program, we can go in and put this new technology at all the signals around Raleigh," DOT signal systems engineer Greg Fuller said.

DOT officials hope to get all of Capital Boulevard on a closed-loop system. In a closed-loop system, a central computer co-ordinates all of the traffic lights to keep cars moving.


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