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Wilmington drivers should start seeing more green

READ MORE: Wilmington drivers should start seeing more green
If you drive around Wilmington, you often find yourself waiting....and waiting....and red lights. The city's traffic lights are notoriously long, but that will soon change. The city is upgrading the traffic signal system at more than 200 intersections. Wednesday, crews worked at Independence and Shipyard. "We can't build that many more roads in the city of Wilmington or even in the county of New Hanover. This will give us a very efficient way to move traffic through our community,” said Mayor Bill Saffo. The old and new equipment looks fairly similar. City Traffic Engineer Don Bennett compares it to buying a new computer. "You go buy a PC today and then go buy a PC from 20 years ago and the boxes may look very similar, but the power and the capacity within those boxes is completely changed." Traffic engineers are going from having six different time cycles they can run to 64. They'll have improved video surveillance to keep a closer eye on congestion and change the lights accordingly. It's not uncommon to wait for two or even three cycles of traffic signals at some of Wilmington’s busiest intersections. After these improvements are done, you should be spending less time waiting at red lights. “We’ll have coordination on say both independence and on shipyard, so it will facilitate traffic movement on both arteries as opposed to having to make a choice between this one or that one,” Bennett said. Mayor Saffo says the project is on schedule and under budget. The project costs ten million dollars, with the expense being split between the city of Wilmington and the state DOT. Three million comes from a transportation bond approved by voters in 2006. The earliest drivers will see a difference with traffic signals, is in October.

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I usually drive College

I usually drive College Rd. from 17th street extension to New Center every morning about 5:30 AM. The flashing red and yellow lights made the commute much quicker- stop at red, look both ways, then proceed. Slow through the yellows & watch for people going through the flashing red. No problems for many years. This week the lights are no longer flashing. Stop at red, wait even though there's no one coming, proceed, get caught at next red, wait, see one car coming out of side street, proceed, etc. My commute takes longer but even worse all that stopping, sitting and starting is wasting fuel. Oh well, gas prices are down again, I guess saving energy is just so passe'.

flashing lights

Thank the DOT - they took the all lights off of the flash mode. They said it's because of too many accidents while the lights are flashing.


PRAY TO GOD ABOVE that the light at College and Kings Drive GETS FIXED...I can go down and do THREE LOOPS between Grace Baptist and the light before it changes...RIDICULOUS

New System

I will have to say seeing is believing. I remember the City saying the same thing years ago when they installed the first system and things got worst not better. I do hope they do work on Third Street at Wooster and Dawson. Now when your light turns green the next one turns red and you only get to drive one block.

maybe this will improve the situation at Middle Sound Loop

If we are lucky this will help solve the terrible problems that have arisen ever since the Middle Sound Loop extension has opened. It now takes nearly 10 minutes for the light on Market street to change and people get stuck on Middle Sound Loop forever. It is so bad the access road behind Burger King now gets more traffic than the intersection during heavy traffic times. This is dangerous because traffic turning left onto Middle Sound from Market now backs up well past Burger King and it impedes traffic turning onto Lendire so there are cars blocking both the center north and south bound lanes trying to get into the center turn lane.

Middle Sound

It's not in the city so I doubt that light will be upgraded. I'm just glad the city is finally able to go ahead with this project for other lights. Their old system was about 20 years old & hadn't been upgraded since then.