TOWN OF LEXINGTON

Smarter signals promise fewer Lexington County road jams

tflach@thestate.comMay 20, 2013 

Traffic congestion in Lexington, including Highway 378, is an issue in the town. Council is studying the possiblity of installing a network of computerized signals with sensors, that adjust with traffic flow to keep traffic moving.

FILE PHOTOGRAPH — the state

  • Pond sold

    Lexington Town Council sold a 124-acre pond and five adjoining acres Monday over the protest of a club that made it an unofficial wildlife preserve for 60 years.

    Most town leaders say Barr Pond – once a backup source of drinking water – is unneeded.

    Its sale to residential developers was approved 5-2, with councilmen Danny Frazier and Ted Stambolitis opposed.

New signals at 46 intersections that adapt to the flow of traffic could reduce congestion significantly in steadily growing Lexington, a study Monday says.

The proposal sets the stage for town leaders to decide if modern technology is a quicker and cheaper way to lessen bottlenecks instead of $80 million in new roads.

“It certainly has the potential to be our long-term solution,” Mayor Randy Halfacre said.

Mile-long backups are common on U.S. 1, U.S. 378 and S.C. 6 – commuter routes that weave in and out of the community – during rush hours.

The new signals would be concentrated downtown where the three roads intersect. About 81,000 vehicles converge there daily, state traffic counts say.

Other signals are needed on Old Cherokee Road on the north edge of town and Wise Ferry Road to the west for better traffic flow from neighborhoods in those areas, the study says. About half of the intersections earmarked for the new signals are in town and the other half surround it.

Halfacre wants to work with state transportation and Lexington County officials to put the network in place so congestion isn’t shifted from inside to the outskirts of town.

No price for the network of what are known as adaptive signals is known yet. Building it is estimated at nearly $5 million, but other costs like designing it are undetermined, the study said.

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