Complaints spark potential changes to traffic light

Complaints spark potential changes to traffic light

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Changes could be coming to a busy Lawton intersection after concerns raised by citizens about a series of traffic lights on Gore Boulevard.

The concerns arose after the installation of a traffic signal at East Gore and Lawrie Tatum Road, which is at the entrance of the Comanche Nation Casino. Citizens complained that with the timing of the lights, they would often hit one or even two of the lights, but get stuck for several minutes after not making it through all three lights.

The city has already responded to those complaints by tweaking the timing on the light for a 60-day period to see what kind of impact it will have on traffic.

Most the complaints come from people saying the eastern-most light on Gore is not necessary.  Lawton Public Works Director Larry Wolcott says the light was put up around 2005 or 2006 after there were six wrecks at the intersection in a 12-month span.

"It was just the volume of traffic that was being produced at that intersection coming from the casino, from the hotel, from the apartment complex and using East Gore," Wolcott said.

In response to the latest complaints, city workers will be slightly tweaking the timing of the lights over the coming weeks, trying to find the best timing to get them completely in sync.

"Basically the timing changes for those three lights will give a little bit more time to East and Westbound Gore Boulevard to help prevent drivers from being caught at any of those three lights," Wolcott said.

Wolcott said he expects the changes will make things easier for everyone, except during a very small portion of the day around 8:00 p.m.

"There is a time during the day whenever the traffic signals change from a 100-second cycle to a 120-second cycle and whenever that transition occurs, there can be some timing changes during that time where the signals don't work perfectly together but that only last for four or five cycles," Wolcott said.

At the end of the 60 days, the Lawton Traffic Commission will make a recommendation that could include a permanent timing change or even removal of the light altogether.

"It's possible it could be removed but if that were to happen, other traffic control measures would need to take place such as limiting north and southbound drivers at that Lawrie Tatum intersection to right turns only for example," Wolcott said. "Some other types of measures would need to be put in place to compensate for that traffic signal not being there."

Any decision about the light would ultimately need to be made by the city council.

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