Traffic Signal Installation:
The purpose of a traffic signal is to provide the orderly movement of traffic by assigning right-of-way at intersecting streets. Installed under the appropriate conditions, a traffic signal is very effective. Installed under inappropriate conditions, a traffic signal is ineffective, inefficient, and a potential danger to motorists and pedestrians. Signals that are installed when no legitimate need exists often generate an increase in vehicle stops, traffic delays, fuel consumption, traffic accidents, and motorist disrespect for other traffic signals.
Consequently, it is important that the installation of such an important device be preceded by a thorough engineering study. To preclude the indiscriminate use of traffic signals, the Federal Highway Administration has published the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD contains guidelines ("warrants") for determining when a traffic signal is necessary. The MUTCD is the federal standard governing traffic control devices in the United States. Arlington County follows the guidelines established in the MUTCD.
A HAWK Beacon (High-intensity Activated crossWalK) is a device to assist pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross busy streets.
Audible Pedestrian Signals:
Arlington installs audible pedestrian signals at existing traffic signals for visually impaired pedestrians. The requirements of an audible pedestrian signal depend on the person who will be using the signal and the specific location. Therefore, only requests from the person who will be using the audible signal will be considered. Once a request is received staff will meet with the visually impaired pedestrian on location to determine the specific requirements. Requests for audible pedestrian signals should be made to the Transportation Engineering Division call center at 703-228-6570.
There are two types of problems that occur at traffic signals: timing problems and operational problems. A timing problem causes traffic congestion and long delays. An operational problem is when the signal fails to turn green for an approach, or the signal is flashing or is dark.
SCOOT Traffic Signal System (Split Cycle Offset Optimization Technique)
Arlington County has the first system in the region to use traffic adaptive control. Under traffic adaptive control, the system continuously monitors traffic flow and optimizes traffic signal operation based on an on-line traffic flow model. The system is configured to improve traffic flow and reduce automobile emissions.
The County has created a 24-hour Traffic Signal Hotline so drivers can report any glitches in the County’s new state-of-the-art system.
The SCOOT areas are in Pentagon City and Ballston, and along Arlington Boulevard (Rt.50), Columbia Pike, and Lee Highway (Rt.29). The "real time" adaptive control may be expanded to other Arlington areas in the future. The County Department of Environmental Services is working with Alexandria and VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) staff to assure signal coordination between neighboring jurisdictions.
For more information about the traffic system, telephone the County's Transportation Engineering Division Call Center at 703-228-6570.
is responsible for operation and maintenance of all electrical and electronic traffic control equipment, and providing signal design, construction and installation. This program is responsible for performing annual preventive maintenance on all on-site traffic control equipment and related hardware.
Email: D. Cunningham
|The Signals program is also responsible for operation and management of the computerized traffic signal control system and all traffic signals within the county. This system provides centralized control for 225 signalized intersections in the County.|