City traffic study making an impact
The City of Fayetteville is conducting a traffic light study with an engineering firm, Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., utilizing funds from the Surface Transportation Program through the Tennessee DOT.
The study has included counting vehicles on a 24 hour basis, looking at recommended changes, and changing the timing of the lights for better traffic flow. The main transportation avenues were given priority time to allow the large number of vehicles to pass, and the side roads with smaller number of vehicles were allowed to wait.
The timing of the lights was completed in November, with the crew spending the week in Fayetteville to check and “tweak” the timing while watching the results. Several seconds were added to the lights to get the traffic flowing through the intersection in a timely manner to minimize congestion.
There are two different zones, the downtown zone and the Huntsville Highway zone. There are four different timing schedules set in the controllers; an early morning schedule, mid-day schedule, early evening schedule, and an overnight period. During the overnight period the lights will go into flash operation, since the traffic flow is very low, in some cases less than 18 cars per hour.
The major street flashes yellow (traffic may proceed with caution, yet at a slower speed), and the minor street flashes red (to be treated as a stop condition on the minor street).
All directions flash red (to be treated as an all-way stop).
Traffic lights in downtown will operate in a yellow / red flash mode with the lone exception being the Main Street and College Street signal. Main Street / College Street will operate in an all-red flash mode.
The Huntsville Highway and Wilson Parkway intersection will continue to operate with a standard red, yellow, and green mode, yet with a shorter time schedule with cameras to detect oncoming traffic when a car stops at the “stop line”. All of the remaining lights on the Huntsville corridor will operate in a yellow / red flash mode on the side streets.
This schedule will be from 12 a.m., or midnight, until 4 a.m. There will still be a morning schedule, a mid-day schedule and an evening schedule for this zone.
The change in the flashing signal lights will begin in January and will be observed weekly, to determine if additional changes are needed.
If there are any questions, feel free to contact City Hall, Jim Lee, city administrator, at (931) 433-6154.