Q: A TV station in Tampa reported that yellow lights at red-light camera intersections were shorter than what is recommended by the Florida Department of Transportation in order to increase revenues from red-light cameras. Now the state is apparently tweaking all yellow lights statewide by adding a quarter second. Any truth to this?
Paul Boyle, Pompano Beach
A: Broward and Palm Beach County traffic engineers say yellow-light intervals were not shortened here.
"We follow the same FDOT requirements at all of our traffic signals, with red-light cameras or without red-light cameras," said Dan Weisberg, Palm Beach County's traffic engineering director.
Brunner said the county has maintained a minimum of four seconds of yellow time for at least 10 years on all state, county and city roads and for safety reasons uses even longer yellow signals for higher speed roads.
The county also uses all-red clearance intervals between 1 and 4 seconds at all intersections and has "absolutely no intention of shortening the yellow or all-red intervals currently in place and will only be systematically increasing them as appropriate. Any requests from municipalities or red-light camera operators to shorten yellow times will not be approved," Brunner said.
Q: The signals on Commercial Boulevard at Northeast 18th Avenue haven't been working properly. When the eastbound signal turns red, westbound traffic flows and all cars go through. Meanwhile, eastbound drivers sit for up to two minutes. Traffic backs up and when the light does turn green, it doesn't always make it through.
Steven Jay Thor, Fort Lauderdale
A: Traffic engineers once again reviewed the signals and found problems with the video detectors, which tell the signal when traffic is present in a lane.
The problems have been fixed and officials say they will monitor the intersection over the next month to make sure the signals continue operating correctly.
Q: Why does the traffic signal on southbound Lyons Road at Wynmoor Way/Westgate Drive only allow left turns when there is a green arrow. Northbound traffic can turn left at the same intersection if drivers yield to oncoming traffic until the signal turns red.
Florence Aumont, Coconut Creek
A: It's been this way since 1994 when the signal's operation was changed to a protected-only left turn phase for southbound traffic as a safety improvement project.
Broward County traffic engineers and those from Coconut Creek reviewed an inquiry to change the signal phasing in 2012. Both agencies determined there was no reason to change it.
Inquiries regarding possible changes to the current signal operation can be directed to Osama Elshami, Director of Engineering and Utilities for Coconut Creek at Oelshami@coconutcreek.net.
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