Traffic light timing to be topic of discussion

Whether Carson City's traffic signals are properly timed will be a topic of discussion this week by members of the Regional Transportation Commission.

Commissioners have been hearing complaints about some of the signals from drivers and decided to ask for a presentation about how they work, said Supervisor Richard Staub, also chairman of the commission.

"I have asked staff to give us an evaluation regarding how we can better coordinate our traffic signals, especially those at our major thoroughfares," Staub said. "Our light system could work a little bit better."

He cited heavily trafficked Carson Street, Roop Street, Highway 50 East, Fairview Drive, Saliman Road and Stewart Street as areas where changes in the timing of some traffic lights might help vehicles move without as many stops and reduce the number of jam-ups.

One specific example is where Saliman and Fairview meet as a site with lights that are changing so fast that it's often hard for a handful of drivers to pass through, he said.

"We bent over backward to build new roads," Staub said. "But despite those improvements, traffic is impeded sometimes by lights that aren't properly coordinated."

Timing of lights at some intersections may seem off, but the settings are often necessary, according to the city's Public Works.

One such area is the Carson City Freeway exit that feeds on to Highway 50 East. The wait is long to get on the highway.

Since the bypass opened, a lot of traffic has moved off of College Parkway and on to Highway 50 East, which means additional east-west traffic needs to be accommodated, said Dennis Maple, the city's control systems supervisor.

"We get calls all the time," Maple said. "The perception is that some of the lights aren't working. They are, but it's a question of priorities."

Some drivers believe mechanisms are still in the asphalt counting vehicles. This is no longer the case because videocameras now monitor flow through many of the city's 47 signaled intersections, he added.

If you go

WHAT: Meeting of Regional Transportation Commission and Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Sierra Room, Community Center, 851 E. William St.

In other business, the panel is scheduled to:

• Possibly amend the agreement covering responsibilities of RTC, CAMPO and Board of Supervisors.

• Potentially add to the state's Highway 395 corridor study.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.


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