• Intelligent Traffic Lights: Not as Advertised

    By Staff
    April 22, 2017

    Wow! After attending Council meetings for 3.5 years, City Council has FINALLY decided to discuss the Traffic Lights (thanks to Councilwoman Stephanie Endres) and staff has dedicated a WHOPPING 15 mins for Monday’s Work Session meeting.

    Intelligent Traffic Lights: Not as Advertised

    There is a myriad of 5 programs all working with and against each other. No wonder there is so much traffic dysfunction within the City.

    Of the 75 traffic lights within the City, ONLY 14 are on the intelligent traffic system!

    Just 3 lights are listed as Full Adaptive, and 11 are listed as Adaptive. Less than 19% are under some level of Adaptive control by the ITS system.

    An astonishing 40 lights are on a timed system, called “Time of Day”. These traffic lights are preprogrammed on general traffic patterns.

    The light on McGinnis Ferry rd & Jones Bridge Rd has this timed system. Identified as one of the worst intersections on that main road, it is SHOCKING & disappointing this traffic light hasn't been upgraded.

    Currently, Forsyth County is on track to spend $30million to widen the road to the dismay of the local residents, and yet, no one from Johns Creek or Forsyth thought to improve the intersection for $30k first, to see if that provides the needed relief.

    18 Lights are on another lighting program called “Traffic Responsive” with timing patterns based on traffic conditions.

    Without some form of coordination between the different light management systems, chances are that the overall traffic management effort will be overcome by congestion or timing that cannot be adjusted in alignment with other changes made in the attempt to relieve traffic backups.
    Couple this with the quick light cycles at the major intersections, it is hard to get cars moving efficiently through the intersections, let alone the City.
    Source: City of Johns Creek


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    EJ Moosa

    This discussion should take place during a Council Meeting, where there will be a bigger audience. And a whole lot more than 15 minutes is needed.


    I am very eager to see how the intelligent lights deal with the side streets. Everyone wants a longer green on 141, but will that come at the expense of more back ups on the side streets that are intersecting 141? Currently Abbotts Bridge and States Bridge both are backed up to Peachtree Industrial on many occasions. They also need a longer green light.

    Ernest Moosa

    I've made the proposal for "Fatter" intersections along the 141 corridor. That is wider access points for the side streets. More vehicles can cross or turn onto 141 with shorter green lights under that concept.

    Also, for more than two years we have been proposing a third lane south on 141 to increase the number of vehicles that can cross State Bridge on a green light. It's interesting that State Bridge East Bound is the only side of that intersection that has three lanes through.

    As for the intelligent lights? They are limited by "policies" set by someone at City Hall. Watch the Work Session from 4/24/2017 and see the conversation for yourself. I will be following up with specific comments once I re-watch the presentation myself. You will be enlightened, I assure you.

    Michele Sarkisian

    We brought up the lights and other simple low cost/ not cost ideas to consider PRIOR to road widening at a council meeting. Adding another left turn lane to divert more southbound traffic to arteries such as PIB, synchronizing lights across counties, changing speed limits to slow things down going south on 141 and speed traffic going north toward 400...which might encourage commuters to take the roads built for dense traffic. Again, citizens offer recommendations, the council disregards.

    T M

    Morning traffic on McGinnis Ferry is backed up starting at 7 Oaks (and frequently farther) all the way up to Douglas Road. Then, it inexplicably loosens up at Douglas. The light at Jones Bridge is ridiculous. There is rarely any line of traffic on Douglas Road. Of course at this point it wouldn't help much if McGinnis had a longer light because sometimes you can only get a few cars through the intersection on the green because it is backed up TO the light as well as beyond it.

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