No more flashers

Following a citizen complaint, the city's cracking down on flashing this week– flashing traffic lights, that is. This Sunday, October 15, downtown traffic signals on Market and Water streets will be fully operational after two decades of Sunday flashing.

"It's a no-brainer," says pedestrian activist Kevin Cox, who believes an increase in downtown traffic over the past several years has made the flashing signals impractical and even dangerous, as heavier flow of cars attempt to get through intersections with no working signals.

Cox wrote a letter to the city's new traffic engineer, Jeanie Alexander, requesting the change in signals, but he says he didn't expect to see quick action.

"Even when it's really obvious there needs to be a change, they're resistant," says Cox of the city.

He underestimated the response.

Alexander says she and Lonnie Randall in the traffic department observed traffic patterns last Sunday and determined Cox had a point.

"I think he's correct that things have changed, and it's time to reexamine," she says. Among the issues Alexander and Randall noted: pedestrians having difficulty crossing, particularly when church services were letting out mid- and late-morning.

Alexander says the city will try watch the signals this Sunday, and possibly future Sundays, before making a final determination.

3 comments

The real "no brainer" is the guy who wants to get MORE stop lights going in Charlottesville. Ask any observant person about what's causing backups all over town -- Rio Road comes immediately to mind-- and the answer is "all the ridiculous new stoplights." And there's no end in sight!

Get rid of the stoplights at North Ave., Melbourne Rd., and River Run, and watch the backup into town in the morning and out of town at night unravel. The light at North trips to red for Park St. traffic when someone TURNING RIGHT ON RED comes off North. So drivers sit staring at nothing while the guy turning right cruises on on out to 29 and cars pile up behind them all the way to the by-pass bridge. MORONIC

But since once they're in place they will NEVER be removed, how about asking the city's new "traffic engineer" to check into the stupid lights that aren't tripped by traffic - like the one at Locust Ave. and HIgh St., where you can sit for what seems like 5 minutes at midnight with no cars in sight in any direction. There are dozens like that all over town.

The idea of getting rid of the few little rays of hope-- flashing lights after midnight-- in favor of full-on red is totally idiotic.

Kevin Cox ROCKS!

Pete

Sweet :)