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John B
Posted on Thursday, July 25, 2002 - 09:36 pm:   

I have noticed over the past couple of days, changes being made to the traffic signal timing etc. at this intersection. During this evening's drive home time - it was a mess. The left turn signal from EB Lebanon to NB Hillcrest would only let one car through on the green. Traffic was backed up on Lebanon past Becca St. Can this be corrected? Thanks

Gary Hartwell, Director of Public Works (Gary)
Posted on Friday, July 26, 2002 - 08:20 am:   

Dear John B:

The signal controller at Lebanon and Hillcrest is being relocated due to the addition of a right turn only lane for the development of the southeast corner of the intersection. This work should be completed within the next few days. We will continue to make signal timing adjustments until traffic is moving properly through the intersection again. Thank you for your comments.

Gary Hartwell
Director of Public Works

Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2002 - 09:10 pm:   

It appears that more cameras were also installed. Did the city have local residents give feedback on the timing of these signals as to whether the cameras added benefit? I personally did not feel that the timing was improved over regular street sensors.

Also, why the change to no turn on red? Better enforcement of traffic violations would have been a better solution. Maybe the timing will be adjusted so cars do not have to sit at the light when wanting to turn right with no cars present.


Brian Moen, Traffic Engineer (Brian)
Posted on Thursday, August 01, 2002 - 05:51 pm:   


Yes, more cameras were installed at the intersection. You did not notice a timing improvement right away because the cameras were not immediately operational due to scheduling conflicts with the vendor and contractor. Therefore the intersection ran in a pretimed fashion for most of the week since the existing loop detectors were disconnected during the rewiring process. That means that the light was green for the same amount of time for each direction all day regardless of whether or not vehicles were present. This was inefficient, but there were not any other options available.

The cameras are now working properly. We will be watching to make sure our detection zones are working properly. I will make adjustments to the detection zones and timing if necessary. Since the intersection had vehicle detectors that were working previously, I don't think you should really notice too much difference from before. The old detectors would sometimes stay on even if no vehicles were present. This would cause the light to stay green longer than needed. This would happen about three or four times an hour before. Our experience with the system at Gaylord and Mall Road F has shown that this problem will go away when using cameras.

The cameras will save us money over the long run. With the upcoming Hillcrest/Lebanon reconstruction and the addition of the northbound right turn lane, at least six detectors would have needed to be replaced. Rather than replace these detectors, we elected to install the cameras. The cameras will also allow us to adjust our detection areas when the intersection is partly shut down for the reconstruction of Hillcrest/Lebanon.

These cameras are going to be installed at all of our new intersections. We will also be working to retrofit our existing intersections over the next couple of years. They are equal in cost to the installation of typical detectors, but provide added flexibility. We can accommodate construction and allow for more efficient operations. We won't have to replace all the loops every time a turn lane is added/needed or concrete repair is made. They can also be used to count cars, classify the vehicles (cars, trucks of different lengths etc.), and collect speed information. I can then use the count data to make sure the timing at the intersection works well during all times of the day. Another added benefit we will realize at a later date once we have a communication system is the ability to also use the camera to monitor the traffic conditions from a remote location. The cameras are not capable of red light running enforcement.

These cameras are becoming the norm in the traffic industry. They are in use in Denton, McKinney, Carrollton, Addison, Dallas, Plano, Garland, Richardson, and Fort Worth, etc.

The no right-turn on red was added due the visibility obstruction created by the screening wall. Since moving the screening wall was not practical, the no turn on red was added. Now that the video is up and running, we can detect vehicles in this lane and provide better service. Before the video was operational, we had no way of detecting vehicles in this lane.

Thank you
Brian Moen
Traffic Engineer

Posted on Sunday, August 04, 2002 - 11:31 pm:   

It does seem to be accurate now.

My only question now is do the camers have to sit on top of a 4 foot pole in the middle of the intersections?
1. I would think that would be an distraction.
2. It does not blend well with the environment.

Where are these located in Plano, I have never seen them unless they are not as noticeable.


Brian Moen, Traffic Engineer (Brian)
Posted on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 06:03 pm:   


There are different ways of installing them. Using the 4-foot pole is the most common since many locations do not always have existing luminaire arms for street lighting. When using video detection, the higher you are - the better the detection will perform. We will typically try to install them on luminaire arms when possible.

To see what I would consider our preferred installation, you can check out the cameras at the signal on Gaylord just west of Preston. They have been in operation since the signal was turned on this past March.

The Plano location is Legacy and Bishop. In Carrollton they are at Luna and Old Denton/Broadway, WB 190 Service Road and Kelly, WB 190 Service Road and Scott Mill. In Addison, they have several cameras along Arapaho near Addison Circle. In Garland you can see several installations along SH 190. In Denton there is one on 380 east of Loop 288. There are also a couple of others along 380 west of Loop 288.

Brian Moen
Traffic Engineer

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