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Campbell and Speedway traffic light change

Posted at 10:31 PM, Mar 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-20 13:14:01-04

Seventeen people have been killed in traffic accidents in 2018, seven of them being pedestrians. 

In hopes of making our streets safer here in Tucson, the Tucson Department of Transportation is testing out a new traffic pattern at the intersection of Speedway and Campbell. 

Drivers that approach this intersection wanting to turn left have no choice but to wait for the green arrow. This has been the case for the past month.

This is different than many other spots in town. At Speedway and Kolb drivers can ease out into the intersection on a green light and make a left turn when there's a gap in traffic.

Ward 6 council member Steve Kozachik says this is a step in the right direction in making Tucson streets safer.

"It is recognized internationally as the single safest way to manage intersections," Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik said.

Right now at Speedway and Campbell, the Tucson Department of Transportation has the green left-hand turn light up for twenty seconds, which they say is the standard.

"Most of our arterial intersections have that same timing of 20 seconds as well," TDOT's interim traffic engineering administrator Shellie Ginn said.

Kozachik says the timing of the light is too quick, which often creates a traffic backup. He's asking TDOT to change the duration of the green light to alleviate this problem.

"Around town, people are saying right now it takes 2 to 3 cycles to get through the left," Kozachik said.

Ginn says by the end of the week they will have collected enough data on the traffic pattern to then start evaluating how to tweak how the intersection functions. 

"We're going to have to wait and see what the data is telling us," Ginn said. "Anything can be tweaked, but it has to take into consideration all of the impacts that it creates."