City of Wichita officials today announced the first phase for traffic signal optimization improvements designed to combat congestion, support clean air and improve commute times. During Mayor Longwell’s weekly Thursday briefing, Public Works & Utilities Director Alan King provided details of the Traffic Signal Optimization Project, which will provide:
· Evaluating arterial corridor signals on Central from Hillside to 127th Street; and Rock Road, from Lincoln to 37th Street; new timing plans for each of corridor will be implemented late spring or early summer, providing more efficient travel and less delay.
· Evaluating signals in the Central Business District, which will include determining equipment needs for each intersection and developing a communications network based on traffic data; and approximately 100 replaced traffic signal controllers in the downtown area, with new timing and coordination plans implemented. Improvements will include pedestrian push buttons and vehicle detection equipment that provide more efficient travel and safer pedestrian interaction. Work should largely be completed by fall.
The City has added $500,000 to the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget to address better signalization. King said travel and traffic delay times across the city are some of the lowest in the country, with a trip across town averaging less than 20 minutes. Comparing traffic to similar-sized cities, Wichita ranks 29th out of 101 for lowest traffic delay.
“Still, we focus on reducing traffic delays, primarily through technology, regular maintenance and better reporting-response efforts,” King said. “We’re doing better but we want to improve.”
Citizens can help by reporting problems with traffic signals through www.wichita.gov or the Wichita Report app. Dial 911 for traffic signal issues that could impact safety. Dial 942-4482 (WICHITA) to report traffic signal issues causing delays during normal business hours and call 268-4013 to report such issues after business hours.
“Maintenance is key to keeping the traffic signals operating properly,” King said. “We have more than 500 signalized intersections across the City, and we rely on public input regarding problem areas. “