Yakima works to get better control of traffic signals

YAKIMA, Wash. -- It's every driver's frustration. Waiting too long at a red light. Braden Goveia crossed the intersection of 40th Avenue and Fruitvale Boulevard every day. He said the stoplights need to change faster.

"Yakima can use it especially this time of day and especially at this intersection and the street right here," said Braden.

Yakima's traffic operations department was gradually working to shorten your wait. Rick Dwyer and his crew were implementing a program that would allow them to see what's going on at different intersections from their shop.

"It's going to allow us to speed up our maintenance," said Rick. "We're going to be more effective as a maintenance unit but also it's going to allow us to do better coordination between the traffic signals."

Daniel Fuhrman was glad to know work was being done. But, he noticed the problem.

"The only times during rush hour going both ways on 40th," said Daniel. "They're stacked up for a long time."

Dwyer and his team were concentrating on stretches of 40th and 16th Avenues where the timing was uneven. They also had the heaviest traffic.

"It's quite an effort to get the timing between those to bring the traffic through on the greens in an effective way," said Rick.

Traffic signals had already been upgraded on 40th from Fruitvale to Tieton Drive. Along 16th, work had been done from River Road to Tieton. Next up will be installing networking equipment so crews can control these signals from the office. The traffic department hopes to have it done by March.

The city is still discussing plans on improving the traffic signals in downtown Yakima.