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Old 06-12-2012, 10:39 AM
7,690 posts, read 9,532,497 times
Reputation: 5657


Hey city of Atlanta......

I get that sometimes you need a traffic signal when there is no cross street so pedestrians can cross the road. Or where there is a T intersection where both streets are one way, there is no reason to have a light except for pedestrians to cross.

That's cool, I want pedestrians to be safe.

But for the love of God, you freaking morons, get these lights off the damn timers!!!!! If nobody is standing at the corner pushing the little "I want to cross the street button" the traffic signal does not EVER have to be red!!!!!

Why am I forever stuck at red lights where there is no reason to be stuck except for pedestrians to cross the road and there are no pedestrians within a 500 foot radius?

Forget freaking TSPLOST, why don't you figure out how to properly manage the resources that you already have?
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:07 PM
3,207 posts, read 4,507,427 times
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Would you mind naming the lights you're talking about? Within Midtown I can't think of a single one--I guess technically the one in front of John Marshall Law School on West Peachtree would be what you are describing. The only one that comes to mind otherwise is in downtown on Peachtree.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:16 AM
7,690 posts, read 9,532,497 times
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A good example is Centennial Olympic Park Dr. and John Portman Blvd. Portman begins at Centennial Olympic, so if you are on Centennial, you can ONLY turn left onto it. Both streets are one way, so you can't turn onto Centennial from Portman because the only direction it goes is away from it.

Since you can turn left on red anyway from a one way to a one way, the only thing the red light does is stop traffic going straight on Centennial when there is no possibility of cross traffic. The only possible cross traffic is pedestrians, so the light should only be activated when one presses the button at the crosswalk.

You also used to be able to turn left from Baker onto Centennial on red as permitted by law, both being one way streets. Yet the city put up red turn arrows and "no turn on red" signs. Presumably, this is also for pedestrian cross traffic, yet the left arrows turn red while the regular light stays green at every cycle even if no pedestrians are trying to cross the street.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:16 AM
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,257,556 times
Reputation: 4205
hrmm... few quick ideas....

You mentioned the TSPLOST... I just wanted to point the irony of your complaint. Most of Atlanta's core road projects in the TSPLOST are for traffic signal modernization to help time things together better on the main arterials in the city's core. This would give them much better timing/control to adjust to traffic patterns.

That aside... If you had pointed out a different intersection I might have agreed with you... but...

The problem (from your pov) is that it would stop traffic on just one street going on direction (Centennial Olympic Park Dr). Two quick observations:

1- There are other lights before and after this light just a block apart, so long as all the blocks are somewhat timed together it doesn't necessarily have a negative impact on the flow/circulation. I mean... whats the big deal if you would just be stopped by the next light or two?

2- The potential for pedestrian activity at that particular intersection, especially during some of the many conventions, tradeshowd, and other events warrant the assumption that not every pedestrian will hit that button and there could be a good number of them.

That intersection is one of the main east pedestrian entrances to the park (and on the other side the GWCC). Down Portman Blvd you immediately have the really large trade marts, which attract alot of visitors and regular workers alike, and further down the street you have most of the main convention hotels.

This is one of 2 or 3 key streets/intersections where we need to be much more cautious about pedestrian activity than normal.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:47 AM
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,093,264 times
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If I understand correctly, you're talking about those signs with the countdown timers that tells pedestrians how much longer they have to get their butts across the street? We have them way out here in gwinnettia in some locations.

I'm pretty sure the lights are set where they are to be synchronized (at least here they are most definitely synchronized) and the timers are counting down regardless. I actually really like that. I wish every light had timers to let you know how long you're going to have to sit there for. Anyway, it's not for pedestrians, it just tells them how much time they have.

I really don't like traffic lights. Would much rather see roundabouts and other systems that kept traffic flowing as opposed to keep traffic stopping and moving in clot-like blocks.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:53 AM
7,690 posts, read 9,532,497 times
Reputation: 5657
The lights are not timed at all. You generally get stuck at all 3 of them.

And you are incorrect about pedestrian traffic. I take that route every day, and 90% of the time, there are no pedestrians crossing the street.

Make them push the button. What is better, to inconvenience city traffic every single day, or to make it to where every once in a while some dummy is going to have to wait for a couple of minutes before realizing he is going to have push the button to make the light change?

Failing that, at least time the stupid things. Should be relatively easy given that Centennial is one way and you don't have opposite direction traffic to consider.

If Atlanta can't figure out timing for 3 lights on a 1-way street, do they deserve extra funds?
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:09 AM
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
7,797 posts, read 11,729,302 times
Reputation: 5394
People always say it would be better if traffic lights were synchronized here, but on a recent trip I experienced the synchronized lights in NYC and they "blew" for exciting and entirely new reasons.

Now talk to me about over abundance of one way streets in Downtown. That actually irks me.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:09 AM
7,690 posts, read 9,532,497 times
Reputation: 5657
I actually had a much EASIER time navigating downtown back when Anderson was a 1-way. It made getting on and off the connector at Williams Street a much, much easier endeavor.

There are many street lights in Atlanta that should use weight pads. I see many lights, especially downtown, that turn red for non-existing cross traffic. The light should only turn red if there are cars waiting to cross. If the lights are to be timed, they should at least be synchronized, but they don't even do that, except maybe on Peachtree.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:22 PM
727 posts, read 1,036,430 times
Reputation: 351
Bike Boxes with a button would be nice too becuase weight sensors are really difficult to trigger on a bike.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:47 PM
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,093,264 times
Reputation: 3497
Just because lights are synchronized doesn't mean they're synchronized to be green.

I know of some cities where the lights are timed perfectly to be red at every intersection you come to. You can't move and that's the way they want it.
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