LANE RANGER

Reader was right about broken turn signal


Published: Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 8:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 8:30 p.m.

Gary Skinner’s suspicions were correct regarding the signal at North Main Street and Northeast 53rd Avenue.

“Westbound traffic on Northeast 53rd at Main Street ALWAYS receive a left-turn arrow even though there is rarely a car in the left turn lane,” Skinner said in an email. “I travel west and east on Northeast 53rd daily, sometimes more than once, and at various times of day and night. It also seems to have a longer duration than most left-turn lanes at similar intersections. Eastbound drivers are delayed unnecessarily all day long. I think the signal is either malfunctioning or programmed incorrectly.”

Matt Weisman, traffic operations manager for the city of Gainesville, said the signal is indeed malfunctioning.

“We will be purchasing the replacement detection equipment in February after we receive approval from the City Commission,” Weisman said.

“We have tried to fix the existing detection system several times, but we believe it keeps malfunctioning due to the close proximity of the power lines. I will see if more timing adjustments can be made to the left turn in the meantime.”

Rear-ended

A crosswalk on Southwest 62nd Boulevard just north of 20th Avenue is a busy place for pedestrians. But it can also be dangerous to motorists.

Mason York wrote recently that his car was rear-ended shortly after he turned from 20th onto 62nd. He believes it was due both to inattention and to the flashing lights that alert drivers to pedestrians in the crosswalk not being synchronized with the traffic lights at 20th Avenue.

“Can something be done to synchronize the crosswalk lights with the left turn signal so that drivers making the same turn we did will not have to worry about slamming on the brakes immediately after turning left?” he wrote.

“We realize there have been a number of accidents at this location, including some involving pedestrians being hit, but hopefully something can be done to protect both walkers and drivers.”

Weisman said the lights cannot be synchronized.

“Drivers must stop for pedestrians in the mid-block crosswalk. The rectangular flashing beacons are to alert drivers when there are pedestrians in the crosswalk and are in no way related to the traffic signal,” Weisman said.

“Pedestrians are allowed to enter to the crosswalk at any time. To coordinate with the traffic signal at 20th Avenue would actually mean the mid-block crosswalk would have to become a full working intersection like the bus bay signal.”

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