Local News

Apex Residents: Half Light is 'Half-Baked Idea'

Posted August 11, 2007 11:25 a.m. EDT
Updated August 11, 2007 5:40 p.m. EDT

— The Department of Transportation installed a half light at an Apex intersection to control traffic, but residents call the measure "a half-baked idea."

The DOT installed the half light to relieve congestion at the intersection of U.S. Highway 64 and Kelly Road. Traffic lights are strung across half the intersection, while the other half is left as open highway.

The DOT has not previously used a half light in the Triangle highway district, officials said.

The attempt at traffic control upset motorists and drew an official complaint from the town government.

"What we're ending up with here is this half-baked idea of a traffic light, called a half light," Ann Mullins, an Apex resident, said.

Drivers in a left turn lane are confused by whether the light - a solid green - means they should go through the intersection or wait for passing traffic, Mullins said.

"People aren't used to stopping on just one side. (They wonder) are they going to stop? Are they not? Can I make a left turn safely?" Mullins said.

"I just think it creates more anxiety than it solves a problem," Mullins continued.

The town received so many complaints from motorists that it complained to the DOT.

"Actually, our police department went out and asked for the signal to be turned off, because it was creating so much confusion," Kent Jackson, director of Apex's Construction Management Department, said.

The DOT denied that request but said engineers would study the half light intersection. They may modify the signal timing and make some adjustments to the intersection, DOT officials said.

"We feel it's an incomplete solution. I think in trying to do something good DOT may have created a confusing situation," Jackson said.

Residents said they're unsatisfied by the DOT"s plan to keep up the half light.

"There's going to be a fatality out here, and it's just because people are unsure," Mullins said. "That's my message."