traffic lights cycle timing

i hope this hasn’t been beat to death before but here goes

Wow. That was quick. So fast I missed it.

i hope this hasn’t been beat to death already but here goes. the town where i live (pensacola, fl) has extremly slow traffic lights. When stopped at a red light, the accumulated cluster of the cross traffic (with the green light) goes thru the intersection and then it’s appox. 1 min 45 seconds of empty intersection before the light changes. During rush hour, the “accumulated clusters” of cars at the red light gets huge and ends up blocking several side street intersections. Then the light changes and the cluster makes it thru the intersection but the light stays green causing the cross cluster to grow huge…rinse repeat. I lived in Houston, tx and in 1983 it was announced that they were speeding up the traffic lights…man it was great! When you were approaching a red light you could tell when it was about to change to green just by watching the cross traffic cluster…when the last few cars of the cross traffic cluster made it thru the intersection the light changed…no wasted intersection time. This kept you “on your toes” because there was no “space out” time just sitting there looking at an empty intersection. We’ve had a few hurricanes here and that’s part of the reason the lights are so messed up (they say). They’ve even had a meeting to disscuss traffic after the hurricane and i went and brought this up to one of the traffic guys and he dismissed me saying “cycling the lights would cause more yellow light time and waste time” I say if you had no lights at an intersection and a policeman directing traffic, he would let the acumulated cluster go thru, maybe wait a few seconds then stop that traffic and let the cross cluster of traffic go…he wouldn’t wait a couple of mins and then stop that direction and let the other direction go. I should mention these lights are not timed to other lights. My question is this: Does any dopes know the “proper” timing for maximizing traffic? It seems that effective timing would be the cheapest way to move traffic more efficiently yet this isn’t being taken advantage of.

That should read: “cycling the lights MORE QUICKLY would cause more yellow light time and thus waste time.” They also mentioned at that meeting that it costs something around 3000 dollars to time a light. With technology today it seems like it could be done for less. The best way IMO, would be to manually work the traffic lights for a day(s) then “set it and forget it” :cool: :dubious: :stuck_out_tongue: