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Why, when there are major events in the area, are traffic light times not adjusted?

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Traffic light

Cars wait for the traffic light at Middle Sound Loop Road and Market Street to change. The light has the longest wait of any traffic light in Wilmington. (StarNews file photo)

I asked Denys Vielkanowitz, signal systems management engineer for the city of Wilmington about this question. He said the city does alter traffic signals for major events, such as the Fourth of July, triathlons, marathons and races that require altered traffic patterns, move-in days for the University of North Carolina Wilmington and UNCW men’s basketball. Men’s basketball was added this season.

Mostly, those adjustments involve altering the traffic light patterns, lengthening or shortening the time a light stays green or red one way.

For example, during basketball season, the light at Hurst road and College stayed green for outbound traffic on Hurst road during the hours when people were leaving Trask Coliseum (according to Vielkanowitz, around 9 p.m.)

Outside of those events, Vielkanowitz said the Traffic and Transportation department can adjust signals for individual events, but the onus for setting that up is on the event managers themselves.

“If somebody were to contact me about an event we’d see if we could fit it in or make adjustments,” he said. “We don’t have a list of major events that are happening in the city of Wilmington, so its basically up to the people hosting the event.”

For signal requests or changes, Vielkanowitz can be reached at (910) 341-4676 or by email at denys.vielkanowitz@wilmingtonnc.gov.

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