Decatur’s roughly 50 intersections are scheduled to get new traffic lights sometime next year. One change includes lights hanging on a single arm attached to an off-road pole instead of dangling from cables, as shown here. Bill Banks for the AJC

Decatur looking to get new traffic signals by next year

During a recent city commission meeting Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon announced that Decatur is scheduled to get an entirely new traffic signal system from the Georgia Department of Transportation, with construction starting sometime next year.

GDOT just completed a signal-timing plan for the city that took the last half of 2018. This included traffic counts and pedestrian counts for rush hours and off hours. The new timing system was implemented in January.

“Some intersections you will notice slight changes in timing, and some you’ll notice no change,” said Assistant City Manager David Junger. “Nothing’s been drastically done, but we want to make sure we understand traffic patterns before we get the new lights.”

The new lights will offer more options and sophistication in traffic management Junger and Saxon said. Among many improvements the lights will be LED, there will be more dedicated left-turn lights and there will be improved video or radar detection equipment (current tape loops under the roads at intersections don’t detect motorcycles or bikes).

Additionally lights will no longer hang from a series of cables but will attach to an arm connected to an off-road pole.

The city has about 50 intersections that will get new lights. Saxon believes the last citywide replacement came in the 1990s.

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