Frequently Asked Questions

Signals aren’t working, or they aren’t working properly.

Contact Streets and Traffic Maintenance at (520) 791-3191 from 8 AM to 5 PM or City Communications at (520) 791-4144 during other hours.
Requests for traffic signal installations; requests for speed humps.
Contact Traffic Engineering at (520) 791-4259 from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Why doesn’t the “WALK” indication stay on until I’m completely across the street?

The pedestrian “WALK” display indicates when it is safe to begin your crossing and may be as short as 5-7 seconds. It is followed by the flashing “DON’T WALK” display that is timed to allow crossing to the next safe haven. That may be an island at locations having islands.

Why are traffic lights well synchronized on some streets and not on others?

Traffic signals are timed to minimize stops and delay to all traffic using the intersection and “perfect synchronization” is rarely possible. Many factors contribute to the disruption of ideal progression: varying speeds, the presence of left-turning signals, the distance between signals, varying amounts of green time required by traffic on cross streets, and congestion from very high traffic volumes. Perfect synchronization for one direction of traffic on a street may result in frequent stops and delays for the other direction. A compromise that favors the heavier direction of flow is usually best.

Why aren’t signals put on a flash cycle late at night?

For your safety, we do not put signals on flash late at night. Many studies conducted in North America indicate that collisions increase significantly at locations with this type of operation even during periods when traffic is light. As a safer alternative, most of the City’s signals are equipped with vehicle sensors and remain green for the main street unless crossing traffic is detected. Also, many signals are released from synchronization late at night to allow them to change more quickly.

Why aren’t there more left-turn arrow signals?

Although left-turn arrows benefit turning traffic they do increase waiting times for other traffic using the intersection including pedestrians. For this reason, certain criterion are used to ensure that they are installed only at locations where they are needed.

Why do I have to use a pedestrian push-button to get a “WALK” signal?

Pedestrian push buttons and vehicle sensors are installed so we can allocate timing as efficiently as possible. They allow the signal to remain green for “main street” traffic and change only when a crossing pedestrian or vehicle is present, thus reducing overall stops and delay for all intersection users. Pedestrians must use the push button to ensure that they receive the programmed crossing time.