Plano Star-courier > News
Lessening the wait: Changes approved to city's traffic signal timing strategy
With a population of more than 260,000 people, traffic congestion in Plano will always be an issue. However, a new plan produced by city traffic engineers should at least minimize congestion along major roads during peak travel hours.
Lloyd Neal, the city's traffic engineering manager, said the city currently balances the signal times on less-traveled side streets with those at major arterial roads. While this keeps delays on side streets at a minimum, it increases congestion along major roads, a problem Neal believes he have a solution for.
"My recommendation is to operate our signals in full coordination with arbitrarily shorter cycles during the off-peak period," Neal said. "What that does is, during the peak period, it allows you to get the movement of traffic in and out of the city that you want. But during the off-peak period, like mid-day and late at night, you have the ability to reduce some of that side street delay."
The plan was unanimously supported by the City Council, who said they often hear complaints from residents about delays at the city's 221 traffic lights.
"I would be in favor of improving the progression on the main arterials at the expense of the side streets, rather than vice versa," said Mayor Phil Dyer.
City Manager Bruce Glasscock said while delays will be lengthened for some motorists, there is no solution that will make everyone happy.
"You can't have it both ways," he told the council. "The complaints I get and send to Lloyd deal with the progression on the arterials. They say, 'Why can't I get on Legacy at 75 and go to Preston? Why am I stopping every other light?' As Lloyd said, we have shifted and given more emphasis to the side streets and when you do that you limit the availability to have a true progression on your arterials."