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Meridian traffic lights cause issues, Public Works Director anticipates upgrade

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 2:17 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Traffic in downtown Meridian can get hectic, so having traffic lights that can effectively control the flow is crucial. However, some drivers say that’s not the case.

“It doesn’t seem to flow well. I don’t know if it’s an engineering issue,” said driver Bonnie Allen.

Another driver offered his suggestion on maintaining downtown traffic.

“I think you should put a timer on them where the lights are going both ways a little longer. That way you wouldn’t get caught in the traffic jams,” said Robert Smith.

Public Works Director Hugh Smith said his department knows that the lights need to be modified but says those changes won’t happen until construction starts for the 22nd Avenue South (Sela Ward Parkway) project.

“Even though we realize there are some issues with the timing of the lights on 22nd Avenue, we also realize we have a project slated there in Sela Ward Parkway that will address all of that,” said Smith.

Smith said several lights in the area will be converted to wireless detection, a more modern way of controlling traffic lights. He says he doesn’t want to modify the current lights now because he doesn’t anticipate them being there for much longer.

“We’re in the process of the final designs by the end of next month," Smith said. "Hopefully we’ll be going out for bid sometime in early spring.”

Smith said the last 22nd Avenue traffic update happened around 20 years ago.

Traffic light times vary around the city, depending on traffic volume, the type of intersections and the distance between the signals.

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