The Traffic Signal
As children we learn that red means stop and green means go. Today, traffic signals are as common as the streets we drive on. Rarely considered is the planning and expense which goes into traffic signal control at an intersection.
Traffic signals allow the orderly movement of vehicles and pedestrians through an otherwise challenging intersection. Usually, signals are at intersections of streets with high traffic volumes.
State Law requires that prior to installing a traffic signal an engineering study must be completed. This study should document that the installation of a signal is necessary to improve the over-all operation of the intersection.
The study for installation of traffic signals is based upon the following criteria documented in the national "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices":
- consistently high traffic volume
- an accident rate which may be reduced
- excessive wait time for vehicles or pedestrians to cross an intersection
- restricted visibility
- a high volume of pedestrian traffic
Traffic Signals as a Tool
It is the mission of the Lincoln Public Works and Utilities Department to provide citizens a safe, convenient, accessible and affordable transportation system.
Traffic signals are an important tool in helping traffic move smoothly through Lincoln. Decisions about a signal's optimum timing and operation are unique to each intersection. Most of Lincoln's traffic signals are monitored by a computer and engineers make adjustments to enhance traffic flow.
A traffic signal is not a substitute for an attentive driver. Follow the direction of traffic signals and be alert to other drivers. It's the "Way to Go."