Traffic Lights May Hinder Commute

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

It's a shared experience but not a pleasant one. Pressed for time and getting stuck in traffic; all the green lights seem to turn red as we approach.

Channel 6 News found out it may not all be in our heads.

Omaha traffic lights may not be able to keep pace with our digital world.

At almost anytime of the day or night you can find traffic stacked up in the lanes around 108th and Maple.

Vicki Connely says, "I think it's the lights I don't think they are synchronized but that's just my opinion. Do you think? It's bad to get out of here."

Vicki Connely knows all about the traffic around Tailwaggers, her pet grooming business, and she doesn't like it. Customers and employees agree something should be done about the traffic backups.

Brenda Heubert says, "I don't think the turning lights stay on long enough because it's all backed up and we have to go into the turning lane because we go east."

Drivers do bring some of the delay on themselves; they stack the lane that allows them to turn onto Interstate 680 and at times have to sit through a red light or two.

Murthy Koti says, "Our current system that we have in place is a 1970's technology."

Murthy Koti is the City Traffic Engineer and admits there is plenty of room for improvement for traffic lights.

A plan is in place to replace all the traffic lights with modern signals that allow two-way communication and the ability to instantly address any slowdowns.

Murthy Koti says, "It is a very expensive project we're looking at about a $35M investment to do the upgrades and we know we don't have that kind of money."

For the time being drivers passing through the intersection at 108th and Maple should allow for more travel time and hope the funding for new traffic signals is found.

Koti tells Channel 6 News the city is aggressively seeking funding sources for new traffic lights. They hope to have them all installed ten years from now.

Koti says there are other, already funded, traffic systems. One will be placed on Dodge between 93rd and 69th streets early next year.

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