Traffic in front of Providence Shopping Center in Mt. Juliet is moving better after the city linked eight traffic signals together.
“We have some back up but when the signals come on, when they engage there is a good chance you are going to get a green [light] through the process,” explained Public Works Director Marlin Keel.
In the past the traffic signals worked independently from each other along the short stretch of road near Interstate 40.
“You would drive a few yards and then you then you would have to stop again. It was stop and go, stop and go all the way,” Mt. Juliet driver Tara Wilee said, adding, “The traffic was crazy. People would try to find different ways to get to their destination.”
Keel told Nashville's News 2 he knew the city had a problem that needed to be addressed.
“It was like winning the lottery to get a green light moving north to south through here,” he recalled.
In an effort to synchronize the lights, the city hired a firm to study traffic patterns and set the traffic signals on a three phase timing plan which covers the morning, midday and afternoon-evening time periods.
“The operational sequence enables the signals to work together during those times,” Keel said.
With the newly linked traffic lights, drivers said they have already seen a major difference.
“I see traffic moving along a lot easier. Not so much of a hesitation to get through the lights,” motorist John Petree said.
Keel added the city is also looking into future traffic control equipment that would allow real time traffic corrections based on real time traffic problems.