Norfolk To Adjust Timing of 60 Traffic Signals To Reduce Congestion and Accidents
Anyone who drives on the roads in Norfolk knows how maddening it can be to catch a red light on every corner. Take Hampton Boulevard, for example. In the area surrounding Old Dominion University, there is a traffic signal at nearly every intersection. If you approach this gauntlet of traffic lights at the wrong time, you could find yourself repeatedly waiting for green lights. This can be extremely frustrating.
Norfolk has decided to seek to remedy this problem at about 60 of the city’s 311 traffic lights. The $600,000 project is slated to take place over the next three years and 80 percent of the funds required for the project—$480,000— is coming from the Federal Highway Administration. The remaining $120,000 is the amount that Virginia will contribute to the project. The overall goal of the project is to make traveling through Norfolk smooth and efficient. Norfolk will study the traffic patterns surrounding some of the city’s traffic signals and design a plan to improve the conditions. As of now, there is no decision on which signals will be receiving the scrutiny.
Norfolk’s city spokesman, Bob Batcher, described the project as part of the city’s “continuous improvement of the roadway system.” This will be the third time since 2008 that Norfolk has undergone a similar project to retime traffic signals. Each of the previous two efforts came with a price tag of $500,000.
While only 60 signals will be analyzed, the overall goal is to have the entire system work in synergy to maximize efficiency while minimizing congestion. Brian Fowler, an assistant transportation engineer for Norfolk, said in an email to the Virginian-Pilot, “We are trying to improve total trip times more so than the amount of delay at a particular intersection.”
Apart from easing traffic congestion, there are other benefits to the project. The stop-and-go of vehicles in areas with many traffic signals increases pollution from vehicle emissions. Constant braking then accelerating burns more fuel and causes more emissions to be released into the environment as a result.
Also, smoother, more efficient traffic patterns can reduce the frequency of motor vehicle accidents. For example, well-timed light cycles will allow cars making a tricky left-hand turn to have a larger window without oncoming traffic so they can safely make their turns. Additionally, getting repeatedly stopped by red light after red light can make a driver very frustrated. As a personal injury attorney, I have seen that as drivers become frustrated, they tend to drive more erratically. This can lead to very serious wrecks on the roadways resulting in very serious injuries.
Norfolk’s roadways as a whole can be very dangerous and difficult to navigate. This project will likely improve safety and reduce the number of accidents on the roads. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, please call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757-333-3333 for free, no obligation consultation. We would love to help you.