If you don’t often have to sit at the lights at the intersection of Harborside Drive and I-45, you don’t know the daily challenge that the employees of the Daily News do.
It’s that light. That interminable light. A left turn signal that seems it will never come. And just when you’re thinking about making an illegal turn — there’s a release.
Councilwoman Terrilyn Tarlton says the lights at the intersection are not just an annoyance for certain newspaper reporters. It reached such a high frequency that she was moved to publically demand changes to the traffic signal during the council’s April 11 meeting.
“It was like ‘Terrilyn when are you going to fix that light, Terrilyn when are you going to fix that light,’” Tarlton said Friday about discussions with her constituents. “All the time, every day.”
They particularly have complained about how long they have to wait during seemingly idle time, such as on weekends and late at night.
The answer to their prayers will come, apparently, this weekend.
In an email sent to residents in her district on Friday morning, Tarlton revealed the city’s plans to shorten waiting times at the light this weekend and possibly on days beyond.
According to the city, the lights at the intersection take between 180 seconds and 220 seconds to complete a cycle. During the morning and evening commute hours the wait is longer in order to accommodate traffic traveling from Harborside to I-45, and vice versa.
The city identifies its peak hours as between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. During that time, the wait for one signal change can last 80 seconds.
Public works director Angelo Grosso said in the email that the lights this weekend would be changed to cycles of between 120 and 180 seconds. The 180-second cycle will run between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. this weekend, while the 120-second cycle will run between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.
City officials say that one of the two changes would likely become permanent for non-peak times, after the city analyzes how much good the new timing patterns do.