Lane Ranger: City looks at modifying several traffic signals

Published: Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 11:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 11:32 p.m.

Michelle Donnelly has a suggestion for the city’s traffic engineers concerning the corner of Newberry Road and 44th Street.

Donnelly said the intersection’s signal does not have an advanced yellow arrow that allows drivers to turn left when there is no oncoming traffic with the green light.

“So one has to wait for a seemingly long time to make a left hand turn onto 44th Street, especially on Sundays, when there is little traffic,” Donnelly said in an email. “An advanced yellow arrow would be very helpful there, especially when there is a lull in traffic going west.”

Donnelly and everyone else who gets stuck at the intersection may get some relief.

City traffic operations engineer Matthew S. Weisman said there are several intersections in Gainesville that the city would like to change to a flashing yellow arrow.

“In addition, we are also looking into a possible time of day change where the signal may stay protected during the busier hours of the day, but then go into permissive mode during other times,” Weisman said in an email. “The signals we are looking at modifying are under the jurisdiction of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Once the City completes the retrofit to flashing yellow arrow, we will petition the FDOT to look at changing certain protected only arrow intersections to flashing yellow arrow.”

Meanwhile, Ann Hudson wrote with an observation that would take a bigger fix than changing the timing of signals.

A bus stop in front of the North Main Street Publix between 10th and 16th avenues appears to be one of the busiest, and thus often causes traffic backups because the street is two lanes with a median and there is not a bus pull-out, Hudson said. Also, it becomes difficult for cars to get out of the post office.

“It is here that many people need the wheelchair lift,” Hudson wrote. “Sometimes it takes a full five minutes for patrons to get off or on the bus, and I don’t see where they can make a place for the bus to pull off the road. I’ve seen concerned policemen try to see why traffic is held up, but even an emergency vehicle could not possibly get through that traffic.”

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