Tallahassee, Florida - October 20, 2011 -
The City of Tallahassee submitted a permit application to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) this week and received approval to temporarily close one of the two right turn lanes on the westbound Tennessee Street approach at Capital Circle Northwest in order to conduct a traffic study. The study is expected to confirm results from a preliminary operational analysis conducted by the City and FDOT, which demonstrated a slight improvement in traffic flow at the intersection by converting the dual right turn lanes to a single turn lane under yield control. The potential change is the result of the City examining the issue because of the excessive number of red light violations at the intersection.
"Since the camera was installed at the westbound approach last year, as many as 1,000 red light violations have been issued at this approach during a single month. Due to the high number of violations and in response to citizen concerns, we've been paying close attention to this intersection,” said Allen Secreast, Traffic Mobility Manager for the City. "In addition, changing this approach to a single right turn lane controlled by a yield sign would potentially result in a minor operational improvement and would make it consistent with the other three approaches at this intersection.”
Currently, the dual right turn lanes are controlled by a traffic signal, and right turns on red are prohibited. FDOT prohibits turning right on red because of the size of the intersection and limited sight distance in combination with the dual turn lanes. A reduction in lanes would allow traffic to operate under a yield condition. If no operational concerns arise during a two-week study period, the City will request FDOT's permission to make the modifications permanent, which will include repaving, restriping and adding new signage to the approach.
One of six intersections being monitored by the City's Red Light Camera Safety Program, the City has taken extra efforts to alert motorists of the “no turn on red” restriction at this specific approach. Additional signs were installed, and a lighted digital message board advising motorists of the restriction was placed in close proximity to the stop line. While the straight through and left turn lanes will continue to be monitored by a camera, the proposed modification would eliminate the need to monitor the right turns if they are operating under a yield control. Drivers should continue to obey the signal until the proposed modifications are put in place. Notice of Violations will continue to be issued for running the red light and making right turns on red until the conversion is complete and the signal is replaced with a yield sign.
On Wednesday the City Commission will hear an update on the Red Light Camera Safety Program at the regular Commission meeting, including the proposed extension of the current contract with the vendor necessary to install seven additional cameras. Proposed intersections include Capital Circle NE/Mahan Drive, Tharpe Street/High Road, Monroe Street/Allen Road and Capital Circle NE/Centerville Road.