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City Council Discusses Traffic Issues Beyond Those Created by Recent Water Main Break

Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 4:30PM

Port Orange, FL - During Tuesday night’s Port Orange City Council meeting residents received an update on traffic issues in the city that resulted from the water main break on Taylor Road, but also had opportunities to voice concerns about issues that stretch beyond the localized short-term repair.

City resident, Steven Kleid, approached the podium and voiced his concerns with recent increases in traffic issues he has observed.

“Traffic control seems a little strange to me. I’ve been driving for 70 years and I’ve never seen traffic lights setup the way they are, and constantly changing their patterns particularly on Dunlawton,” said Kleid. “Traditionally, in my experience, the left turn arrows on each side lanes clear out at the same time and straight through traffic can move along. At the same intersection the next day the patterns could be totally different. A third day it’s different again. I had an accident yesterday at one of these intersections and I’m wondering why.”

Council members were sympathetic and shared Kleid’s concerns and shared information of a plan to remedy the issue.

“I love this topic. We should be getting an update soon We are about to spend a good portion of dollars on an adaptive traffic control system, so the traffic lights talk to each other effectively,” said Mayor Donald Burnette. “Traffic engineers may have their own sense of humor and I look forward to this new system coming.”

By definition, Adaptive Traffic Control System (ATCS) is a traffic management strategy in which traffic signal timing changes, or adapts based on actual traffic demand through both software and hardware components.

 

According to the Federal Highway Administration, “"Real-time management of traffic systems is proven to work, yet these systems have been deployed on less than 1 percent of existing traffic signals. FHWA is now working to bring these technologies to the rest of the country. Outdated traffic signal timing incurs substantial costs to businesses and consumers.”

City Manager Jake Johansson added the adaptive system will be in place in the city in 2020, and in the meantime, Johansson urged residents to continue to drive with care.

“These systems are great because they can sense where the traffic is and adjust signals accordingly, but in the short-term, drivers need to watch the green lights, stop on yellow lights and be wise,” Johansson said. “And I do want to set the expectations that even with the new system in place, lights won’t necessarily go green when you want. They’ll change as needed.”

Within the city, traffic light patterns are based on time of day and a pre-set schedule.

Johansson added the caveat that in the past two weeks, during certain times, police officers are manipulating the lights due to the water main break affecting Taylor Road and Dunawton Avenue traffic.

The update on the road and bridge repairs from the water main break on Taylor Road council members and residents received was favorable with plans divided into two phases, which should be completed by the new year and the road could re-open ideally before school resumes on January 7th.


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