Traffic lights stuck on red, what do you do? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Traffic lights stuck on red, what do you do?

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Several traffic lights in North Columbusoften get stuck on red during early morning hours. Some drivers have reportedwaiting almost half an hour for some lights to change. News Leader 9 Curtis McCloudtook the problem to the city traffic manager to find out why some lights willchange and others won't.

At 4 AMI took my cameras out to the streets, trying to find out why several trafficlights on Veterans Parkway in North Columbus won't turn green.

A videoI took from my cell phone captured an 18 wheeler that waited and waited for thelight to turn green but it never did.

In fact,this light stayed red for 20 minutes even though it's supposed to be greenuntil a driver comes up to it at a cross-street. That seemed to be the patternall night long. After waiting about 5 minutes most cars drove through the stuckred light.

MajorJulius Graham with the Columbus Police Department says that if you encounter alight that won't change you should wait and let the light cycle through a fewtimes. If it does not change then he says you should precede through the lightwith caution lights on, blow your horn and look both ways to make sure there isno on-coming traffic.

So arethese lights faulty or not? To find out I took the problem to City TrafficEngineering Manager Ron Hamlet.

Hamletsays, "If you are out late at night we may give left turn signalsonly 8 or 10 seconds of green versus during the day they may get 15 or 20seconds.

He saysthis is because traffic lights at major intersections are on sequences. Thosesequences change during the day and night based on how many cars travel theroad at a given time.

A fasterresolution to the problem may soon be on the way with a new traffic controlsystem that will be ready by the summer. Soon the controllers will be able to address backed-up traffic on thefly from their control center and try to free up traffic.

"Nextpart of it is actually tying traffic signals so that we can communicate herefrom a computer on a screen to a traffic signal box out on the street," saysHamlett.

"Youmay see these traffic cameras at intersections in Columbus and you may thinkBig Brother is watching you but that couldn't be farther from the truth. It isactually part of a new system that will make your daily commute a whole loteasier."

Thatwould allow us to react now versus 30 min of delay problems.

City traffic manager Ron Hamlet says that his department islooking into those lights in north Columbus for repair.

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