Traffic study progresses
The Alabama Department of Transportation has completed a field data collection of the traffic movements in downtown Hartselle, but it could be several months before residents will notice any changes with the signals.
Hartselle Department of Development director Jeff Johnson said Sain Engineering Associates studied five intersections over a week ending Oct. 2. That includes three intersections on Main Street – Railroad, Sparkman and Sycamore streets. It also included the Chestnut and Hickory street intersections on Sparkman Street.
“It is our hope that the four traffic signals on Main Street and Sparkman Street will be connected together with the railroad crossing signals,” Johnson said. “Currently, there are three controllers for those four lights. Right now, we are asking the state to consider all options at this point.”
Johnson said this includes taking a look at the arrow signals on Main Street, adding pedestrian signals at all four lights and putting all four lights on one controller. He also hopes that they will be tied into the railroad signals for a pre-emption commands when a train comes through town. Johnson said a train comes through downtown Hartselle 34 times a day.
“We’re not only looking at improving the traffic in downtown, but we are also wanting to make it a safe area for pedestrian traffic,” Johnson added.
The traffic consultants looked at each of the intersections during three peak times during the day – 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3:30 to 6 p.m. He said they also looked at traffic on Saturdays as well.
“They will take the field data that they collected along with crash data from these intersections and enter it into their computer software programs,” Johnson said. “They will use that to make recommendations. It is possible that they will have to install additional hardware to connect each of the signals together.”
Johnson said the entire project will be completed by Jan. 31, 2014. He added that traffic engineers could also come back to downtown for additional data collection.