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Traffic lights near Agnes Scott switched on, traffic jam ensues

Crime and public safety Decatur

Traffic lights near Agnes Scott switched on, traffic jam ensues

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Photo of traffic in Decatur on Thursday, Oct. 18. Photo provided by Elizabeth Eppes

The good news: New traffic signals that will allow for protected left turns at the McDonough and Candler railroad crossings were turned on Thursday, Oct. 18.

The bad news:

The new signals caused a traffic jam that had city residents fuming.

Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon said he’s aware of the problem.

“I didn’t get many comments, but observed quite a bit of congestion,” he said. “The signal contractor will be making adjustments to the system today and next week to improve traffic flow.”

Getting the traffic signals installed was a complicated process and the lights sat in bags for months before finally being activated.

“These intersections are complicated – each crossing is actually two intersections adjacent to each other that are separated by the railroad tracks,” Saxon previously said. “Because there are so many elements at each crossing – new protected left turns on several additional legs at each intersection, the regular traffic signals, pedestrian signals, the railroad pre-emption – some special equipment is required to make the signals work as planned.”

The Georgia Department of Transportation provided the city with new advanced traffic controllers – the cabinets that house the technology to run the system – and additional signal heads at no cost to the city, Saxon said.

The new equipment required for the completion of the signals was recently installed.

“The technology involved is innovative and will greatly improve safety and convenience for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists,” Saxon said at the time.

Until the signal timing is adjusted, user experiences may vary.

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