Southwest Georgia drivers get the green light - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Southwest Georgia drivers get the green light

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Albany- It's the most frustrating color for almost every driver, red. The Albany City Engineering office is working hard to give drivers the green light.

"We try and check about twice a year to make sure that they're maintained properly and we've got ongoing studies all the time to see how we can improve traffic along different corridors," said Bob Alexander, City engineer.

There are intersections in Albany that will bring even the fastest NASCAR driver to a complete stop, intersections like Dawson and Whispering Pines.

"You have the Nottingham and Westover road connection, that's kind of a congested area we're looking at," said Alexander.

Trying to keep traffic moving is a delicate balancing act.

"We like to spread the traffic lights out, about every half mile and that gives you a good progression along the street," said Alexander.

Add in coordinating traffic at a busy intersection and you could have a traffic stand still.

"We also have detectors on the side street, that lets the signal know that there are people waiting to go across the street," said Alexander.

The real trick, however is getting it moving and keeping it that way.

"When you've got a large amount of traffic, like you have on Dawson Road or Oglethorpe, where you just start getting that amount of traffic moving you don't want to stop it. You want to keep it moving as much as you can," said Alexander.

Despite their best efforts, things happen and drivers get angry and there isn't a day without a complaint.

"Some people get frustrated, sometimes a signal might not be working right, but we'll send somebody out there to try to see what the problem is and make adjustments if we can," said Alexander.

The engineering department gets only 500 thousand dollars of the city's 60 million dollar budget. They also get grants from the state and federal government to help improve traffic conditions in Albany and surround Dougherty County.

posted by jennifer.emert@walb.com