Timing on some downtown Redding signals to change Wednesday

California Street Traffic Lights

Some Caltrans signals in downtown Redding will be allowed to "run free" starting Wednesday, February 14, when the timing on specific traffic signals on Pine, California, Shasta, Tehama, and South Streets will change from 24/7 coordinated timing to traffic actuated at certain times.

According to Caltrans District 2, the timing change will affect 13 Caltrans signals and two City of Redding signals. The change will allow the Caltrans signals to "run free" Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. and all day on the weekends.

The two City of Redding signals will operate with modified fixed timing during the same hours.

Carrie Walker was out for lunch Monday and said the change would be beneficial to those that are out at night.

"It doesn't seem like there is a lot of traffic and it drives me crazy. I've been tempted to run red ones occasionally," added Walker.

Caltrans says this change will make signals more responsive to motorists when traffic volumes are low, decreasing wait times at cross streets in the area. This change is in addition to seven other Caltrans traffic signals that are currently traffic actuated during overnight hours during the week and over the weekends.

Tom Willman lives downtown and said he walks or rides his bike as much as possible during the day because of the traffic. On the days he had to drive he's also noticed the timed lights but felt the evening hours will improve.

"After 9 o'clock there's just no traffic," said Willman. He added, "Some night you can play baseball on the street and you have to stand there and wait till the light changes or break the law."

Caltrans added coordinated timing at these 15 traffic signals will continue to take place Monday through Friday between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., when traffic volume in the downtown Redding area is higher.

Seven traffic lights are already "running free" during the evenings and on weekends on Eureka, Trinity, East and Gold streets. The intersection of Tehama and California streets has also been switched already.

Caltrans District 2 Transportation Engineer, Electrical Ben Paull said this was a project they've worked on for a couple of years. The vehicle detection system is already in place and the timing parameters with the controller have been updated ready to go Wednesday.

He said the biggest changes will be noticed by drivers on both Pine and California streets.

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