City installing new actuated light systems that will improve traffic

(Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO)

LAWTON, Ok (RNN Texoma) -The City of Lawton is working to improve traffic flow at busy intersections and reduce the amount of time drivers have to wait at red lights.
Officials said it will save time and money for drivers.

Crews started working on the lights at the intersection of Northwest 52nd Street and Quanah Parker Trailway last week and plan to complete four more intersections in the next few months.

A few drivers said this is much needed for the City of Lawton. We've all sat in traffic before waiting for the light to turn green.  It only takes a minute or so, but for some drivers it may feel like it takes forever.

"Well probably not as long as it seems, but it seems like it is two or three minutes," one driver said.

The new actuated light system will replace the loop detectors at the intersection of Sheridan and Smith, Fort Sill Boulevard and Smith Avenue, Sheridan and "I" and Sheridan and "D" Avenue.

"When a car pulls up to an intersection it triggers actuation of the traffic signal controller to change the light from red to green for that driver," said Wolcott.

Larry Wolcott is the Public Works Director for the City of Lawton. He said the upgrades are video detection devices installed on top of the traffic lights.

"Its not a video camera in the traditional sense where its recording video its just sensing shapes in those lanes and can tell when a car pulls up," said Wolcott.

The upgrades are being funded through a grant program that's part of the Federal Highway Administration and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation saving the city and drivers money.

"When you look at the number of vehicles that go through a particular intersection if you save each one of the those drivers 30 seconds over the course of a day you have saved a lot of time for those drivers as well as fuel that they've burned just sitting there idling," said Wolcott.

Drivers also agree.

"I think it's great that they are coming up with some idea….technological that will help us and make traffic run smoothly," said Christian.

Crews are still working on the actuated lights at the intersection of 52nd Street and Quanah Parker Trailway.  They hope to have it activated in the next week or so. The goal is to have the four other intersections complete by the summer.

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