Do lights help commutes?

I recall an article about a year ago in The Augusta Chronicle reporting on help to speed up drivers who commute throughout the CSRA. This article talked about alleviating wait times brought about by having to stop and wait needlessly at most traffic lights.


Most signals are on a timed loop that repeats the same pattern whether there is traffic or not. Workers were going to change the repeating loop pattern and use sensors that could tell the amount of actual vehicles traveling through the intersection, thus decreasing wait times and speeding up your commute.

Drivers will agree that most signals are on a repeating pattern of green-yellow-red, and do not actually help control the flow of traffic through intersections.

Ever had to stop and wait at a signal only to sit there and see no traffic in any direction? Occasionally, I have had to drive through downtown during the middle of the night only to be stopped for minutes at each intersection to sit, watch, wait and obey the cycle of the traffic control signal. There is no traffic, but you must wait until the cycle has completed.

I know, some of you will say, “Relax and smell the roses. What’s your hurry?” I agree to that somewhat. But when you have to stop and wait at each traffic control signal, at each intersection, for no traffic – well, I’ve smelled enough of the roses. Let’s keep it moving. Fifteen-minute commutes take 30 minutes, and at more than $3 a gallon for gas, money is wasted, and there are certain areas of our city where you don’t want to sit by yourself for very long.

So, what is the outcome of The Chronicle’s article? Has the help to speed up our commute been forgotten?

T.E. Freemon




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