Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Clarification on traffic light

I emailed the town and Greg Mahar, the town's director of planning and community development, clarified the status of a potential turning light at 16/75 and some of the issues involved in getting one installed. Greg's response is valuable in explaining the situation, so with his permission, I am including it here.
When the planning for the intersection was occurring there was discussion of installing a dedicated left turn lane for traffic turning onto NC-16 with a turning arrow for eastbound traffic on NC-75 heading to Monroe. In order to accomplish that there was going to have to be a removal of parking along the store fronts of NC-75 on both sides of the road for the DOT requirements to be met. The Mayor & some Board of Commissioner members and some in the community did not want to lose the parking along the street and after working up a budget there wasn’t enough money to construct the turn lane without losing the parking spaces.

I then made contact with NCDOT traffic division and asked for them to look at that intersection to put in a light cycle that will allow the eastbound NC-75 traffic to have a green light w/ arrow for a period of time that will allow the eastbound traffic to move while holding the westbound NC-75 traffic in a stop condition. DOT is concerned that situation will cause further delays for the intersection as a whole but have agreed to look at the intersection after construction is complete to consider the request. Once that review is complete they will issue a finding as to the impact of the request on the intersection as a whole. We will continue to work with NC DOT on solutions to help make the traffic move as smoothly as possible.
So at this point, the town is waiting on a DOT review to see how the intersection will be impacted by adding a turning light without a turning lane.

On another note, I don't see how anyone would think a dedicated left-turn lane could have been squeezed in there without removing downtown parking. There's only so much space.

A turning light, on the other hand, requires no additional space to install. As for concerns that it will clog up other parts of that intersection, I'm not sure if DOT is more worried about westbound 75 traffic or southbound 16 traffic. I would suspect the latter.

No comments: