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Traffic driving you crazy? Victoria to study timing of lights

By Melissa Crowe
May 5, 2013 at 12:05 a.m.
Updated May 6, 2013 at 12:06 a.m.


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IF YOU GO

• WHAT: Victoria City Council

• WHEN: 5 p.m. Tuesday

• WHERE: Victoria Council Chambers, 107 W. Juan Linn St.

• MORE INFO: victoriatx.org

For the first time in five years, traffic light timing on Victoria's major thoroughfares could see some improvement.

Victoria City Council is expected to vote Tuesday whether to approve spending $169,550 for a traffic signal study along Navarro and Main streets and Houston Highway.

The six-month study is hoped to improve traffic flow and reduce delays and stops.

Victoria Metropolitan Planning Organization will cover $70,000 of the final cost, and the Public Works Department will cover the remaining $99,550, according to information from the city.

Public Works Director Lynn Short said the study will look at current traffic patterns, take intensive vehicle counts and create models and projections for more effective timers.

"Every once in a while, especially if traffic patterns change, you need to go in and redo those timing studies to make sure you're optimizing your signals," Short said.

With Victoria's growth, the city sees more traffic, which affects the signals.

Councilman Emett Alvarez said he was looking forward to having the lights synchronized again.

He said longer protected turning lights and longer yellow lights could help.

"The temptation is once the light turns yellow, you still want to go," he said. "A lot of it has to do with the lights being so short in timing that very few cars are getting the chance to turn. The drivers are getting frustrated."

He said he wants to keep watching College Park once De Leon Street closes to see if there is more pressure from those streets onto Navarro Street.

Planning Services Director Jared Mayfield said this study, to be conducted by the Houston-based Gunda Corp., will help incorporate the planned signal at Huvar Street on North Navarro Street and the light at the new Wal-Mart on Teakwood and Houston Highway.

"There's been a lot of congestion and traffic increases along the northern stretches of North Navarro," Mayfield said. "We'll be able to do some fine-tuning of those lights so traffic can flow a little smoother."

Along Navarro, the study includes lights from Goodwin Avenue to Broadmoor Street and from Business 59 to Tropical Drive on Main Street. The Business 59 portion of the study runs from Bridge Street to Loop 463.

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