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Should the timing of the traffic signal at College and Oleander be adjusted?

Ken Little
StarNews
A Wilmington Police Officer tries to control traffic at Oleander Drive and South College Road. StarNews file photo

A Wilmington Police officer tries to control traffic at Oleander Drive and South College Road. StarNews file photo

Q. The intersection at College and Oleander is horrible going northbound. If you want to make a left turn, about six cars can turn left before the light changes. Then you wait forever for the light to change. You may have to wait several light changes to turn. Should the timing of the left-turn on northbound College onto Oleander be adjusted?

A. Based on current and historic traffic volumes, the answer is no, city of Wilmington spokesman Dylan Lee said after conferring with city traffic engineers.

“The timing should not be changed. When there are more vehicles than the roadway can physically process, as is the case at this intersection, it is nearly impossible to program a traffic signal to process all waiting vehicles to every driver’s liking,” Lee said.

The signals at the intersection of College and Oleander are programmed based on actual and historic traffic volume, he said.

The largest volume of vehicles involves cars going north and south on College Road.

“That is why they get the most time,” Lee said.

Next on the priority list, based on volume, are cars going east and west on Oleander Drive, followed closely by cars making left turns off of Oleander Drive, Lee said.

The lowest volume “by a very large margin” are cars making left turns off of College Road. As a result, these left turn signals get the least amount of time, Lee said.

“In order to give one movement more time, time must be subtracted from another movement. If you add time to all of them, then everyone will wait longer for their turn, which will allow more vehicles to stack up, requiring even more time to process them,” Lee said.

He said that finding an acceptable balance is a challenge, “so it is best for this intersection to continue to be programmed based on actual and historical traffic volume.”

RELATED LINKS:

How can we warn drivers eastbound on Oleander about the left-turn-only lanes at College Road?

Why is there no crosswalk or crosswalk signal at Oleander and College?

Does anyone remember the old Rollins BBQ restaurant on Oleander Drive near College Road?

 

User-contributed question by:
Ron Birn

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