29 Lights to Get Synched

The Commonwealth Transportation Board has voted to install a synchronized traffic light system along Route 29 in Charlottesville between Barracks Road and the post office, at the county line. The new system should speed traffic flow along the entire corridor. Bob Gibson has the story in today’s Progress.

17 Responses to “29 Lights to Get Synched”


  • i’ll believe it when i see it. and does this mean that the red lights at the cross streets will be longer, and the greens shorter? trying to cross 29 from barracks rd. up to rio is already a nightmare. glad i don’t live north of town anymore.

  • Interesting. I’d assumed because of the amount of traffic that goes through there that it was already automated, but now that I think about it I realize that it obviously isn’t. I have to say, though, that I don’t find the present traffic flow to be particularly unsatisfactory.

  • my biggest gripe are turn lanes with lights that only allow 1-2 cars through…when there are at least 20 cars waiting to turn left. most of the lights use sensors in the street now, so if somebody is daydreaming and doesn’t stay closed up on the person in front of him when the line starts moving, you get hung out. the turn lane from emmet to university at the cavalier in is notorious for that.

  • I’ve never found traffic flow on 29 to be that bad. The only problem I usually have is with eastbound 250 drivers exiting the bypass onto 29 north and not yielding.

    Crossing or entering 29 at any of the lights is a whole other deal. Some of those lights, especially for left turns, are way too short. Maybe the synchronization will improve the problem. Too bad they can’t take it all the way up to Rio.

  • Four of them make eminent good sense.

    But how is a light at Meade and East High going to really help anything?

    During evening rush hour its always backed up to there from the intersection of Meade and 250. At other times its a breeze. A stoplight isn’t going to change that.

    Also the flashing warning light at Shamrock and JPA isn’t going to do much for the hapless driver trying to turn left from Shamrock during either morning or evening rush hour. Why not a full blown stoplight setup?

    -M

  • This isn’t news. The lights on 29 are already synchronized. You stop at Barracks Road, then at Angus Road, then at Hydraulic, then at Zan Road – perfect synchronization, if you ask me!

    Seriously, light synching is a great idea – drive Rt. 50 through Arlington sometime – you can get from Seven Corners to D.C. in just a few short minutes (a fact likely not overlooked by D.C.’s resident sniper). Of course, that route covers several miles – I’m not sure how much of a difference it will make on that relatively short stretch of 29.

    I also don’t know the advantages of a "computerized" system – the lights on Rt. 50 have been perfectly in synch for 30 years or more. It amazes me that they’re treating this like some newfangled high-tech initiative. Perhaps that’s just a euphamism for "we’re spending a lot of money on this."

  • it’s sad that technological fixes never get to the real underlying problem–humans. like the humans who are first in line at a left turn lane, daydream or talk on their cell phone through most of the green, and then just as it’s about to turn red THEY shoot through the intersection and everyone behind them has to sit through another cycle of lights.

  • speaking of yielding, what do y’all think of the issue of merging onto 250? i find that oncoming drivers just will NOT move over to let the mergers merge, unlike on a true highway, where I find in general that people are very careful to get over the left when they see merging traffic coming up a ramp.

    it’s true that 250 is not a true highway, but people drive on it like it is–zooming along at 70 mph in the 55 mph zone. but then they don’t treat it like a highway in terms of merging.

  • "you can get from Seven Corners to D.C. in just a few short minutes (a fact likely not overlooked by D.C.’s resident sniper)."

    hmm, maybe then we DON’T want to synchronize anything. maybe the key to protecting Cville from the sniper is to keep our traffic lights so f-ed up that he realizes he’d never make a quick getaway from his shooting here. :)

  • That’s very true, though it seems like there are a lot of intersections around here that don’t keep the left turn light green long enough to at least empty the turning lane.

    At 29 Northbound and Airport Road, it used to be that the left turn light was so quick that no more than two or three cars could get through it before it turned yellow. I used to call VDOT regularly to complain about that, but never got any results. Then one day, they’re out there actually lengthening the dog-gone left turn lane! So for a few weeks we had a very high-capacity turn lane and a very short turning light. Now we have a turning light that almost stays green long enough to empty the entire lengthened turn lane.

    Who said miracles never happen anymore?

  • I still hate that intersection. My gripe, though, is that the green light for going straight or turning right is too doggone short between 4:45 and 5:30pm.

    This leads to backed up traffic, clear around a blind curve that I’m sure is a wonderful income source for a legion of body shops.

    I’d love it if they’d add a right-turn lane, but I doubt they could fit one in.

  • Then try crossing 29 at Hydraulic! Only 4 cars get through at a time!

  • It is people like you that don’t move into the left lane so that people entering 250 can merge! They teach you that kind of stuff in drivers ed!

  • YES! YOU ARE RIGHT!

  • I TURNED AROUND and drove up thru rubgy today… ***** em

  • I do, when it’s safe, move left to allow folks wanting to merge to come on board. Alas, it’s something you could get a ticket for (in Pennsylvania, at least): Unnecessary Lane Change.

  • I said *exiting*, not *entering* 250. It’s usually difficult (because of traffic in the left lane) and impractical (if you’re planning to turn right anytime soon) to move into the left lane and back again on 29. And a whole new right lane opens up directly from the 250 east to 29 north exit, so drivers don’t even need to change lanes to stay on the road.

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