WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.– The Winston-Salem Department of Transportation is using nearly $200,000 in federal grant money to reconfigure stop lights at roughly 50 intersections throughout the city. The goal is to increase travel time and decrease wait time.
The city received the grant because the changes not only help traffic move but because engineers claim keeping cars from sitting still reduces emissions.
Intersections along University Parkway, Reynolda Road, Stratford Road, Silas Creek Parkway and Peacehaven Road are part of the project.
Engineers are using new software to re-time the lights so the left turns come after the main traffic lanes flow for a while. It’s called “left turn lagging.”
“By delaying the left turns you process more people through the intersection,” said Connie Curtis, Winston-Salem’s Deputy Transportation Director.
Engineers say it will shave seconds off wait times, improve travel times and reduce emissions from cars sitting at stop lights.
Curtis says the changes were needed, “because traffic patterns change developments occur you may have more traffic, may have it going in different directions. We want to maximize throughput.”
The City paid for 20% of the project, federal funds covered the rest. Engineers should complete the changes and have all software in place by the end of the month.