Tired Of Stoplights? Raleigh Leaders Are Trying To Help

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Drivers in Raleigh complain that they're seeing red -- as they're stopped at stoplights all over town.

"At night, the lights are synchronized, but during the day, no way," said driver Nichole Alston.

"Seems like the green stays very short almost all of the time," said driver David Early.

Raleigh crews and the state Department of Transportation are working on a citywide project to synchronize traffic lights. With $28 million in federal grants and city road bond money, engineers are trying to get motorists more green than red at every intersection in town.

The work started this summer and is projected to take three years, but some drivers said they've already made some progress.

One section of Capital Boulevard is already synchronized, according to the DOT. The retimed zone runs from inside the beltline at Fenton Street, over the beltline through Highwoods Boulevard, through Brentwood Street and all the way up to the Highway 401 split.

"I've noticed, and I think it's been doing a little better," said driver Lisa Keeter. "And one reason why it's great, aside from commuting, is for emergency vehicles. Once they get in that pattern, they can just continue to the emergency instead of having to stop at every single red light."

Engineers said the Capital Boulevard synchronization is just the first piece of a major signal system overhaul, so they've asked drivers to be patient. After so many years in the red, it'll take a few more to reach the green.

After Capital Boulevard, work moves to Highway 401, then Highway 64 and Highway 70. The goal is to have the entire system in place by 2009.


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