Traffic signal cycles eyed
by By RICK NORTON Associate Editor
Sep 20, 2013 | 1050 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bart Borden
Bart Borden

Work to alleviate congestion and improve motorist flow along the busy 25th Street Corridor is taking another step with the installation of four different cycles in the thoroughfare’s traffic signals, according to Bart Borden, vice president of the Cleveland Utilities Electric Division which has oversight over the city system.

The new timing patterns were installed in August after area schools returned to session and are being evaluated in September, Borden told members of the Cleveland Board of Public Utilities during a recent formal meeting.

Traffic engineering consultant Cannon & Cannon of Knoxville, who conducted the same type of study for CU along Paul Huff Parkway, designed the proposed “signal time plan sheets” which were then reviewed by CU traffic coordinators prior to their implementation.

The new plan’s four cycles consist of one for morning, mid-day, afternoon and off-peak drive times. Borden said plans also differ day to day. For instance, different timing patterns are now in effect for the periods of Monday through Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. These are based on traffic counts and when sections of 25th Street are at their busiest.

Design of the new signalization cycles isn’t the only major change proposed by Cannon & Cannon for 25th Street and which are now in use.

“The two signalized right turns (eastbound 25th Street to southbound Keith Street and westbound 25th Street to northbound Keith Street) at the 25th Street and Keith Street intersection were converted from standard phase operation to an overlap condition,” Borden explained. “They now display a protected green arrow during two phases of each cycle (northbound and southbound Keith turning westbound and eastbound, and 25th Street eastbound and westbound straight-thru movements) allowing more green time for the right-turn movements.”

This means 25th Street motorists turning right onto Keith Street will be given more green time, a move that should help to get more traffic off 25th Street faster.

Modifications at the major intersection also include the elimination of U-Turns.

“To operate these turns as overlaps, two ‘No U Turn’ signs were installed on the northbound and southbound left-turn approaches,” Borden said. “According to traffic count data, very few drivers will be affected by the restricted U-Turn movements.”

In a related development, Borden said CU traffic engineers are currently working with the Cleveland Fire Department to design the installation of pre-emption equipment at 20 intersections inside the city of Cleveland.

Borden said this GPS pre-emption equipment will be set up for junctions along 25th Street, Paul Huff Parkway and Keith Street.

“Site preparation began in August with installation expected to occur later this fall,” he pointed out.

CU is also working on a number of other signalization projects.

In July, CU traffic engineers attended four Tennessee Department of Transportation pre-construction meetings that included work at six traffic signals and TDOT’s Smartway ITS expansion.

“These meetings discussed one signal at the Wacker plant on Lauderdale Memorial Highway, two signals at Exit 20 that will be rebuilt with the bridge work, and three signals near the Whirlpool plant on Benton Pike,” Borden explained. “The Whirlpool signals include Highway 64 at Durkee Road, Benton Pike at Durkee Road, and a new signal at Benton Pike and the relocated Michigan Avenue Road. TDOT’s Smartway ITS will be expanded from White Oak Mountain to the fog zone on Interstate 75.”

In one other development, Borden said modern Wavetronix radar detection equipment has been ordered to replace the aging video-trak detection system at the Keith Street and Inman Street intersection.

“This was the first camera detection system installed in Cleveland by TDOT’s contractor,” Borden cited. However, time and age have taken their toll; plus, lightning struck the main controller for the video equipment in August. This forced CU to make emergency repairs using the old video detection equipment that had previously been removed from the Keith and 25th Street intersection.

“The total video detection system is scheduled to be replaced ... with the radar detection system,” Borden said.