Want to ask a question? Click here

Why do traffic patterns at intersections change throughout the day?

Caitlin Dineen
StarNews
Photos.com

Photos.com

Q Why do traffic patterns at intersections change from day to day and throughout the day? This is really frustrating and dangerous.   One intersection in particular, Shipyard and 17th, changes regularly, which messes up commutes.

A. Don Bennett, Wilmington’s traffic engineer, said traffic signal timing plans are “designed to fit the specific patterns of traffic that approach each intersection during a given time of day.”

This basically means that the lights change to meet the demand and best match the volume of traffic around Wilmington. We all know this city, like any other, has certain ebbs and flows for traffic.

“The alternative to running timing plans tailored to specific traffic patterns would result in a timing plan that does not address peak-hour demand but also would cause excessive off-peak delay,” Bennett said.

If that happens, the timing system will under-perform all times of the day, Bennett said.

“Simply put, there is no one size fits all timing plan that meets all road users’ needs all the time,” he said.

There are several reasons why traffic patterns may change, Bennett said, including: adjusting time required to move all vehicles through an intersection, adjusting timing to split up traffic moving through one intersection to get to another and changing the settings of signals near another signal to ensure they work well together.

RELATED LINKS:

Are there plans to adjust the timing of the traffic light at Wrightsville and Independence?

Are there plans to install traffic lights at the Green Meadows and Market Street intersection?

User-contributed question by:
Chris D

Got a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Click here to let us know!


Bookmark and Share

X
Ask a question
X

Ask a question

If you’re looking for answers about living in coastal North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. If we don’t have the answer to your question, we’ll find out or try to find someone who does. Hey, that’s our job! So, ask your question below and we’ll do our best to find the answer. Once we do, we’ll post it in an appropriate category.





Can we use your name to credit you by name (no e-mail or other contact information) with this question when we post an answer?
Yes
Your question:

Post a comment
X

Talk to us!

Have a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Use this form to let us know. Note that all comments are moderated and must be approved before they are posted, although you may see your own comments the first time you post them.





Your comment: