WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Does the constant stop, go, stop in your morning commute drive you batty? If so, the City of Wichita has good news for you.
Officials announced their first phase for traffic signal optimization improvements on Thursday. The changes seek to fight clogged traffic, speed up your commute and do good for the environment by having less cars running at stops.
“So some of our intersections are based on timing, which means you could be driving along, come to an intersection which turns red and there’s no cross-traffic or no pedestrians,” Director of Public Works Alan King said.
King says the plan seeks to add equipment that isn’t at traffic lights already and replace 100 traffic signal controllers in the downtown area with new timing and coordination plans for a more efficient drive.
Back in November, KSN News first told you about how smart signals could impact Wichita drive times.
Currently, a trip across town averages less than 20 minutes according to King. In a comparison of similar-sized cities, Wichita comes in 29th out of 101 for lowest traffic delay.
The project will evaluate arterial corridor signals on Central from Hillside to 127th Street East and on Rock Road, from Lincoln to 37th Street North, with new timing plans for those zones implemented in late spring to early summer.
Additionally, it will seek to evaluate traffic signals in the Central Business District.
“This will include pedestrian push-buttons and this should increase the flow through our Central Business District and that’s what we hope to do this year, perhaps with incremental improvements in the following year,” King said.
The project uses Capital Improvement Plan budget dollars, which the city has recently added $500,000 to with hopes of addressing the signalization delay.
The public is encouraged to improve traffic signalization by calling in problems or delays they see by dialing 316-WICHITA.