These signs appeared all over Downtown and Midtown within the last month or so, hinting that various traffic lights might soon be removed. Traffic lights aren't exactly the sexiest topic of conversation, but they do hold sway over whether or not you end up stoping your car in a not-so-safe area after dark, or whether you're able to cross Detroit's extra-wide streets without fearing death by Chevrolet. As citizen-bloggers, we felt it our duty to place some probing calls and figure out the city's plan for these intersections. We spoke with Daniel Cook, Assistant Traffic Engineer at the city's Traffic Engineering Division, who let us in on the Detroit's master traffic light "optimization" plan for the Downtown and Midtown areas. And we put it all in a map, so check it out and see if your most hated light might soon meet its maker.
The city hired professionals to study over 150 traffic lights and determine which needed adjustment, and which are so rarely traveled that they wouldn't be missed. The most unnecessary lights--all listed in this map--have been set to flash, where they'll remain for another six months or so while motorists get used to navigating those intersections without stoplights. After that, they're likely to come down. The lights will be replaced with stop signs.
In the meantime, if you absolutely love a certain stoplight and want it to remain, you can call the department number listed on the sign (313-224-1610) and let 'em know. According to Cook, that's what happened at Cass and Alexandrine, where so many residents chimed in that the light will likely live on.
As you probably guessed, the map's stop signs indicate what each intersection will become post-stoplight.Read More