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Can something be done with the timing of the red lights outside of Brunswick Forest?

Jason Gonzales

The Brunswick Forest traffic light in Leland is on a superstreet design that manages traffic more efficiently than traditional full-movement signals, said James Dunlop, congestion management engineer for the N.C. Department of Transportation.

What the superstreet design does is time the lights to optimize traffic flow.

Dunlop explained:

“Regarding the specific signal timing issues on U.S. 17 near Brunswick Forest, the superstreet design manages traffic more efficiently and safely than traditional full-movement signals. Even with turning right and then waiting for the U-turn signal, the movement towards the south (in this case) is usually quicker with the superstreet than waiting for the signal to cycle around to serve the side street turns. Drivers may perceive that it’s taking longer, though, and get frustrated with the signal timing. To properly coordinate the signals (mainly for U.S. 17 traffic) the green for the main street must be held during the signal cycle, so that the signals can turn in sequence. That’s why the red may seem to hold ‘with no traffic out there,’ but the flip side of that would be the red coming up on the main street more often, stopping the higher volume of traffic. So often, the answer to ‘the signal timing isn’t working’ is that it really is in an optimum pattern. However, that means that certain traffic has to be held longer than some drivers would like.”

For more information on how this works, click here.

To report any lights that might be out:

If there is an emergency situation where a light is out, call 911.

In the City of Wilmington, if there are issues with traffic light timing call Denys Vielkanowitz, who is responsible for timing and maintaining the signals for the city, at (910) 341-4676.

For county issues, visit N.C. DOT’s website.

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4 Responses to “ Can something be done with the timing of the red lights outside of Brunswick Forest?”

  1. On October 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm Fed Up wrote:

    “…it really is in an optimum pattern.” Is that why it takes me over five minutes just to get traveling north on Hwy 17 from Lanvale Rd? I have complained to DOT on countless occasions. They refuse to take action. I have sat at the U-turn light south of Lanvale Rd. for over three minutes on one occasion. The kicker was, it was 1:00 AM and no traffic was on the road. How is that an “optimum pattern?” However, dare to run a red light in Leland and the LAPD will be out in full force to nail with a ticket and a full vehicle search. Someone has to gain some common sense here and set the lights to turn when cars approach the intersection in a reasonable time, not two or three minutes later.

  2. On October 16, 2010 at 9:53 am chris kemp wrote:

    This explanation of how the light works is ridiculous and only makes sense if there were very heavy traffic volume,I too have had to sit at the light coming off of Lanvale Rd and when it turns green and you turn ,you have to race up to the next light to make your u-turn to head north on 17 which turns red as soon is youre able to get there.then sit through that cycle for what seems an eternity with no other traffic coming ,why can’t there be a caution light allowing you to make the left instead of having to waste time sitting there when nothing is coming.

  3. On October 26, 2010 at 10:37 pm Mark Umscheid wrote:

    On a somewhat related topic, why aren’t all the amber lights in similiar speed zones consistent in the time they remain amber before turning red?

    It seems to me, espcially with the fairly recent addition of “red light” cameras, that the time a traffic light remains yellow would be consistent on similiar roads and would have some specific state regulations in this regard. I have received several not stopping at a red light infractions, from the newly installed camera systems located throughout Wilmington. Each ticket shows the time the light was red, and the time the light was yellow. However, the “yellow” light times vary in range from 2.8 secounds to almost 5 secounds (and are broken down into tenth’s of a second). I have recieved a ticket for passing a red-light at .02 seconds. For the safety of car drivers driving during hazardous conditions, when it would be unsafe to slame on the breaks going 45 MPH, all yellow lights should be reguated by time as a warning to the motorist when the light will actually turn red.
    What would happen if the light went from green to red without any notice? I think many more “camera” tickets and many more accidents, and many more frantic motorists!

  4. On October 28, 2010 at 9:58 am mike wrote:

    The lights should be activated when a car approaches it, like anywhere else, within a reasonable time. The light going south up from brunswick forest has no impact on the traffic going north on 17. The timing to trigger all these lights (up and down 17) need to be looked at in person, and not give us a text book answer from behind a desk somewhere on how they should work.

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