Windward Traffic Signals Graphic

Addressing Traffic Signal Timing On Windward Parkway

Released May 22, 2023 04:09 PM
If you have driven along Windward Parkway east of GA400 in recent days, you have likely noticed and been frustrated by the timing of the traffic signals in that area.  If you have thought something is not right, you are correct.

Over the last couple of weeks, contractors working for the City performed significant reconstruction of the road between North Point Parkway and Alderman Drive.  The work required that the road be “milled” (i.e. removing layers of the road surface by grinding it) and part of the sub-surface rebuilt using soil cement before new asphalt could be applied.

What does that have to do with the traffic signals?

Traffic signals rely on sensors called traffic loop detectors that are embedded in the road at intersections.  As a car approaches a traffic signal, the loop detector senses the vehicle’s magnetic field and informs the intersection controller that there are vehicles waiting at the intersection.  That triggers the controller programming to begin a countdown based on the timing for that traffic signal so that the signal changes from red to green at the appropriate time.

Sometimes, when road work is performed, the loop detectors are damaged and have to be replaced.  That is what has happened on Windward Parkway.

So, when is the City going to fix the problem?

The City typically waits one to two weeks after a road has been milled and resurfaced before replacing any damaged traffic loop detectors.  This is so that the asphalt has time to harden/cure a bit and any issues that need to be addressed with the roadbed or asphalt can be identified and fixed.  If we rushed right out to replace the loop detectors, it is likely they would be damaged, again, when those issues are addressed.

The good news is that the work to replace the damaged signal loop detectors will begin next week.  The work will begin with the side street loop detectors on North Point Parkway, Edison Drive, and Marconi Drive.  The crew will then address the loop detectors for the left turns from Windward Parkway onto North Point Parkway and Alderman Drive.

Weather permitting, the work takes just a few days to complete.