Latest City of Siloam Springs News

Posted on: August 18, 2017

Traffic Signal 101

traffic signal

From time to time, the City receives information that a traffic signal is taking too long, or that light cycles have increased. Here's a little information about how traffic signal timing works.

A traffic signal that works efficiently makes the best use of available time for each vehicle approach. They also must work along with national standards of operation. A typical intersection starts by allowing the main street left turns to turn together at the same time, followed by the main street through traffic, then the side street left turns and finally the side street through traffic. Then it starts the cycle over.

Each traffic movement is assigned a minimum green time and a maximum green time based on volume of traffic. If one traffic approach does not have any cars then that part of the cycle can be skipped. Skipping a traffic movement when there are no vehicles speeds up the cycle. The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department provides the signal timing and settings for the signals along HWY 412. Increased traffic (from new businesses, new neighborhoods, etc.) can increase the time at a traffic light.

The Electric Department employs some great traffic signal techs that work hard to keep the signals working well. The department cares for the maintenance of all the signals in town and makes timing adjustments to signals on city streets.

If you feel there is a problem with a traffic signal, please contact the Electric Department during business hours at 479-524-3777.

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