City replies on Charles Street traffic lights
A few days ago, Getting There ran a letter from reader Jim Pappas about the synchronization of the lights along the Charles Street corridor.Since then, we've received a reply from Adrienne Barnes of the city Department of Transportation indicating -- after some defensiveness -- that Baltimore officials may act on his complaint. Here goes;
Thank you for bringing the timing concerns to our attention.
First, It should be pointed out that traffic patterns in 2010 is a lot different along the Charles Street corridor then it was in 1953 and in the 70’s: The number of traffic signals have more than doubled and/or quadrupled, vehicular traffic volumes are significantly higher, and commuting distances are longer.
Secondly, the intersections along Charles Street in this corridor are not presently connected to City’s centralized traffic signal monitoring system (about 55% of 1,300 signals are).The city office that handles traffic lights says that it does depend on citizens' complaints to point out problems, which can be called in to the 311 system. If that doesn't bring a quick response, or if you just don't trust the city to respond, feel free to write Getting There.
Thirdly and more important: A preliminary assessment has verified that steps can be taken to improve traffic flow along the Charles Street corridor, while keeping intersecting side street traffic delays and pedestrian delays to a minimum. These improvements can be largely achieved through the repair and/or and installation of side street and pedestrians detectors that will allow the traffic light for Charles Street to stay green longer. Motorists should expect to see modest operational improvements by this fall.