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City finally may see better traffic patterns

Staff Report • Apr 11, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Johnson City officials promise the much ballyhooed intelligent traffic system will soon be here. Honestly, traffic officials say, the $3.6 million project is nearing the implementation stage.

That’s good news for city motorists, who can certainly argue that there’s nothing intelligent about the current timing of city traffic lights.  

And as we’ve said in this space many times before, Johnson City officials must do a better job of coordinating the timing of traffic lights throughout the city. Motorists should not be left idling at signalized intersections that don’t seem to be in tune with the flow of traffic. It’s frustrating for drivers to find themselves stopped at every traffic light in the city.

The National Transportation Operations Coalition says better coordination of traffic lights is one of the best means of reducing traffic congestion by as much as 10 percent, not to mention saving fuel and slashing pollution.

Now, after more than three years of planning, it appears Johnson City’s Traffic Division is ready to begin work on an integrated traffic system that uses fiber optics to operate traffic signals and cameras that will send images back to engineers who can observe traffic patterns and change the timing of signals.

As Press staff writer Gary B. Gray reported earlier this month, city commissioners are scheduled to review a plan April 18 to implement the project. On behalf of all those drivers sitting much too long at a city intersection waiting for the traffic signal to change, we ask that the City Commission green light the contract as soon as possible.

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