Valpo studying turn arrows at Calumet and Evans

2013-04-10T20:00:00Z 2013-04-10T21:05:23Z Valpo studying turn arrows at Calumet and EvansBy Phil Wieland, (219) 548-4352

VALPARAISO | Now that the city has installed left-turn lanes on North Calumet Avenue at Evans Avenue, it has a request to add turn arrows to the signals.

The request to have the arrow added to the northbound signal was considered by the city's Traffic and Safety Committee on Tuesday and immediately got support from Assistant Fire Chief Dan Lamb, who said it should be done for the southbound side as well.

Lamb said traffic often gets backed up in the turn lanes because of the large amount of through traffic, which allows only a couple of vehicles to make the turn during a signal cycle. After checking on the traffic Tuesday evening, Engineering Director Tim Burkman said he now thinks the idea has merit.

"I will look at in over the next month, but I'm leaning in the direction that it is warranted," Burkman said.

Before it is brought up at the committee's May meeting, Burkman said he will get some traffic counts and turn movement counts to have better information on whether the arrows are needed.

"Turn movements look at the peak hours, and we have to manually count who turned which way and who went through the intersection," he said. "The numbers are useful not only to figure out if the arrows are warranted, but we can also use them to time the signal better."

Installing the turn arrows will involve additional wiring, but the biggest issue will be whether the existing signal arms are long enough to place the new signals where they can properly direct the traffic in the turn lanes. If longer ones have to be ordered, that will delay the installation.

The committee could make a recommendation at the May 14 meeting and the city's Board of Public Works and Safety could approve it a week later.

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