PORTAGE | The Traffic Commission on Thursday approved a measure aimed at improving traffic flow on Central Avenue.
City Engineer John Hannon said the intersections of Central Avenue and Irving and Vivian streets have left turn arrows for eastbound and westbound traffic turning off Central Avenue. But when that short turn time is over, the signals turn to red, halting any additional turn traffic through the light's cycle.
Another way to organize traffic, which, Hannon said, would be more efficient and prevent backups on Central Avenue is to change to a five-section head traffic light.
The new signalization would maintain the left turn arrow at the two intersections, but instead of turning immediately red, would run through a green light cycle to allow additional traffic to turn after oncoming traffic is cleared.
Hannon said there are similar signals in the city at Stone Avenue and Willowcreek Road and at U.S. 6 and Airport Road.
Hannon said he contacted Midwestern Electric, which has a contract with the city to maintain the traffic signals. The cost for the change would be $6,800.
The commission approved moving forward with the change and will contact the city's Redevelopment Commission to seek funding for the project. The Central Avenue corridor is within the city's tax increment financing district.