Why do I have to push the pedestrian button?
The pedestrian walk signal and audible sounds will not be activated unless the pedestrian button is pressed. Pushing the button prompts the intersection computer and tells it that a pedestrian is present and waiting to cross. Proper pedestrian time is then provided. If the button is not pressed, the intersection computer will assume that it only needs to provide enough time for the vehicles to clear. Sometimes this is not enough time for a pedestrian to cross.
Why not have the pedestrian signals come on automatically every time?
If the pedestrian signals automatically came on every time then the Accessible Pedestrian Signal Sounds would be heard 24 hours per day causing unnecessary disturbance to residents living near the traffic signals.
What happened to the advanced left turn signals?
The left turn signals were removed at some Downtown Napanee intersections on the recommendation of experienced Traffic Engineers. The reason for their removal was to improve the overall performance and reduce the overall delay to traffic at these intersections. In simple terms, when an advanced phase is used at best only one quarter of the traffic at the intersection is being served.
In the past these intersections worked on what is called a ‘fixed’ timing plan which puts up a certain amount of green time for each direction every time the signal cycles. The issue with this type of operation is that even if there are very few vehicles, for example on Bridge Street, the green time remains constant and traffic would be sitting on red on Centre Street with no traffic entering from Bridge Street. This included left turn phases that would come up including times when there is no traffic in the left turn lane. As a result other traffic is being delayed.
In the new configuration these intersections will operate in what is called ‘fully actuated’ mode. In this mode there are vehicle detectors in each lane on both Bridge St and Centre St and the signal will automatically adjust the green time based on the traffic demands. At times when there is a lot of traffic on Bridge St the signal will extend the green time to better serve that traffic. At times when there is very little traffic the green times will be shorter. The result of this type of operation is less overall delay to all traffic.