Signal Spotlight: Collaboration is Key

traffic_signal_spotlights_logoFor municipalities, operations and maintenance of traffic signals often requires inter-departmental coordination.  The Public Works, Engineering, Police and Fire departments each have their own leadership, funding sources, and objectives, which sometimes creates a challenge.

This month we’d like to feature the Town of Fairfield, where the Public Works Department (which includes Engineering) and the Police Department recently held a meeting to discuss Fairfield’s traffic signal assets. William Hurley, Engineering Manager for the Town of Fairfield, facilitated the discussion in the Engineering conference room. This year, those around the table included Captain Robert Kalamaras of the Police Department, Lazarus Pittman from CTDOT Traffic, Theresa Schwartz, P.E., P.T.O.E. of the T2 Center, as well as Meghan Sloan, AICP and Devin Clarke from the Metropolitan Council of Governments (MetroCOG).

ss_dec_19Following the meeting, the group toured a number of signalized intersection locations. Hurley and Captain Kalamaras provided the town residents’ perspective on how the signals owned and maintained by CTDOT are operating, particularly along the Black Rock Turnpike where vehicular travel, access to local businesses and pedestrian safety are of great importance. The group also troubleshooted several town-maintained signals experiencing resident complaints.

One such location was the intersection of Ash Creek Boulevard at Brewster Street. Commuters travel Ash Creek Boulevard to access the Fairfield Metro Train Station in the morning. The town received a number of reports of drivers wishing to make a left turn onto Ash Creek Boulevard from Brewster Street experiencing a short or non-existent protected left-turn phase. Pittman noted the loop detectors at the Brewster Street approach had apparently not been repaired and/or reinstalled after a paving project and were not functional. Armed with this information, Public Works can reinstall the loops, resolving the recurring delay at this location and improving the travel experience for commuters.

Though Hurley and Captain Kalamaras work collaboratively throughout the year addressing traffic issues and consulting with CTDOT, holding a focused annual meeting allows them to examine the bigger picture of how traffic signals serve the town’s overall transportation goals. Over the course of the meeting and field visits, the group discussed funding, regional traffic signal issues and projects, and the town’s Traffic Signal Maintenance and Operations Plan. All in attendance agreed it was a valuable experience, and in the future Hurley plans to host the meeting annually.

Additional traffic signal resources can be found on the T2 Center website:

About Connecticut T2 Center

The Training & Technical Assistance Center at UCONN provides education and technical assistance to members of Connecticut's Transportation and Public Safety Community, including municipal public works directors, street and road maintenance superintendents and staff, city and town engineers, Connecticut Department of Transportation employees, transportation planners and law enforcement professionals serving as legal traffic authorities. We are Connecticut's LTAP Center
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