CDOT updates traffic signals around Summit County
The Colorado Department of Transportation spent the past week updating traffic signals around Summit County, a project meant to improve safety and efficiency throughout the area by cutting down on stops and delays.
Earlier this week, CDOT began updating the traffic signal timing at intersections along U.S. Highway 6, Colorado Highway 9 and Colorado Highway 91. In total, the project includes improvements to lights at 30 intersections in Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne and unincorporated areas near Copper Mountain Resort.
CDOT officials said traffic signals in Summit County didn’t seem to be optimized based on the department’s analysis of the area, and efforts to improve the system were prioritized as a response to local feedback calling for retiming.
“Part of this was certainly our observations of the flow of traffic through the county, but we certainly heard the concerns from community members, as well,” said Elise Thatcher, communications manager with CDOT. “We appreciate the feedback that we’ve gotten from local officials around Summit County. It helps us understand that what we’re seeing on the roads really matches what they’re seeing.”
The identified signals have had the same programming for several years, but traffic patterns and signal technology have changed considerably in that time, according to CDOT. The upgrades will include newer model controllers, or “brains,” that will allow the department to adjust the signal timing for high-season or offseason traffic patterns.
As a result of the update, motorists will get green lights more often — and for longer — when driving during nonpeak times, and sharper signals should mean shorter waits at less busy intersections. The changes also will include adjusted timing for pedestrian signals.
“One of the primary goals of this project is to reduce the amount of time people are waiting at an intersection to make a turn,” Thatcher said. “But drivers will also notice that when they’re waiting at an intersection that’s in between towns, the cycling should be a little different so they’re not waiting as long. We can all tell when we’re at a light that doesn’t seem to have the correct information about what is happening at the intersection. These will feel more updated. You won’t be just waiting there for the light cycle. The intersection will be smarter.”
In addition to improving the flow of traffic through the area, CDOT officials anticipate that the new model controllers will allow for easier maintenance — allowing workers to access them for troubleshooting remotely — and improve safety on roadways.
“We’re reducing the number of people waiting in line and the amount of time they’re waiting in line,” Thatcher said. “The more we can keep people moving, the more it reduces the opportunity for someone to get rear-ended.”
Additional signal updates are planned for the spring.
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