City of Charleston changing timing of traffic signals to improve - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

City of Charleston changing timing of traffic signals to improve traffic flow

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City of Charleston officials are working on a plan to change the timing of traffic signals to improve traffic flow and the commute to and from work.

"I don't think they're timed correctly. I think if the time was more synchronized it would be much better," West Ashley resident Jane Carlough said.

Charleston Traffic and Transportation Director Hernan Pena said Thursday the city is hiring consultants to study intersections West of the Ashley, on James Island and in downtown Charleston to determine exactly how to synchronize the traffic signals.

"We test it, we run it, we drive it over and over, making adjustments to try to get the best timing plan possible," Pena said.

Pena says the timing of the traffic signals need to be adjusted due to more people moving into the area.

"Once you have more traffic than the road can handle, then the traffic signal system is not able to handle it."

Pena says the idea is to allow drivers to pass through a green light and not have to stop for a red light at the next intersection.

He says the only downside is that drivers on side streets may have to wait a little longer for the light to change, but not to the point where they will have to get impatient.

He expects the West Ashley signals to be re-timed sometime next year and the downtown traffic signals in 2017.

This is the third time since Hurricane Hugo in 1989 that the lights have been synchronized. The lights were re-synchronized after recovery from Hugo, and again in 2008 when officials relocated the city's traffic control center.

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