ORLANDO, FL - Imagine waiting three-and-a-half minutes at a red light. That’s what drivers are enduring at the intersection of Kirkman Road and Conroy Road in Orlando. Some call it a “punishment light,” and one that drivers dread.
“The light is terrible,” said Dylia Elisein, Orlando resident, who travels through the light daily. “You can pass five, 10 minutes and you’re still waiting for the light.”
The chance of getting stopped on red forces Dylia to leave early for work, just in case. She’s not alone. According to the City of Orlando, this is the busiest intersection in Orlando, traveled by more than 100,000 cars each day.
“Especially on Orange Avenue, trying to get through downtown, definitely lights can be slow,” said Angela Hardy, Orlando resident.
Drivers downtown are wondering why they are hitting red more often than not. So, we went to the city’s traffic department for answers. Upwards of 500 traffic signals monitored around the clock at the city traffic monitoring hub.
“We’ll actually model the signal timing based on the volumes on both streets, and once we do that, we’ll implement the timing and we actually monitor how it works in reality and we’ll go back and make adjustments depending on how the traffic patterns are,” said Billy Hattaway, Transportation Director, City of Orlando.
So, the lights aren’t turning randomly. To help move traffic, most lights are equipped with sensors to detect approaching cars. But at peak traffic times, the sensors take a back seat to designated rush hour timing to move cars, as efficiently as possible.
“We have a morning, noon and evening peak,” said Hattaway.
The traffic department’s top complaint is slow traffic lights. If you think a signal is taking too long or not working, report it on the city’s website below. The City will investigate.
Report a traffic signal issue
“We can use our cameras and observe whether or not the timing is not functioning properly if it’s not, we’ll send someone out to look at it,” said Hattaway.
But remember, it’s not all about you, there are countless other drivers also trying to get somewhere.
“The challenge is you have cross streets and those people want to go as well, so we have to try to maximize the efficiency of the intersection based on the travel,” said Hattaway.