Traffic Lights

By: Melissa Reynolds
By: Melissa Reynolds

"It just comes down to the question-do you want to get there faster or safer," Drew Williams says.

The City of Harrisonburg's choosing safer, that's why this light is going up on Port Republic and this one on Reservoir.

"We have increased traffic and increased development coming in and we need to address those concerns," Williams says.

Does that mean continually adding lights?

"That's a hard question to answer-we'll put them in where we need them-we'll try not to put them in where we don't need them," Williams says.

Before they just put a traffic light in. a study is done, looking at how long you wait at an intersection, the volume of traffic and the number of accidents...turn lanes are also another option.

"Yeah, there is alternatives, but when you have the volumes in the these intersections I just don't know that the alternative would cure the problem," Don Komara says.

Traffic lights are effective, but, they're costly, about $125,000 a pop for starters.

"It takes electricity to run these and each signal has a computer associated with it and there's a cost to that plus a maintenance cost-we try to be very prudent when we up them up," Komara says.

Komara says one of the best ways to limit the number of traffic lights is to control development.

"If we could have one entrance to a highway, rather than 7-that's a better entrance because at those when you need a light you can put it there rather than at all the other entrances," Komara says.

Now, Port Republic has 4 lights right in a row...they're not going anywhere, but the city's working on synchronizing them.

You can count on at least 3 more lights going up in the city. They'll be used to access the new Harrisonburg Crossing shopping center.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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