Officials: Traffic backup fixable

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The biggest complaint with the Main Street project so far has been backed up traffic on the side streets.
It hasn’t escaped the notice of Debbie Brangenberg of the Main Street Association and Jon Milstead of the Community Development Foundation.
“The three-laning of the road hasn’t really been a problem,” Milstead said. “It’s been the lights and the traffic signalization.”
Milstead and Brangenberg, both key people working on the project, cite faulty or old electronic equipment. Brangenberg also said when the power goes out, Tupelo Water & Light has to reset the timing on the light synchronization.
“There’s still going to be some glitches until we do the final project,” she said.
But, Brangenberg and Milstead are quick to praise the work of Tupelo Water & Light and Public Works for making the project work with the current equipment.
Milstead said each side street has a different wait time, but in general, vehicles shouldn’t have to wait for more than 60 seconds for the light to change.
“In some instances, people have said they’ve had to wait longer,” he said. “The magnetic loops (in the road) have been the problem, not the lights.”
He said the loops some times won’t detect a car is waiting so the light doesn’t know to change.
“When the project is implemented,” he said, “you’ll have different electronic equipment that will synchronize the lights and traffic on the side roads. … The side streets are going to get fixed. That is not going to be a long-term problem.”
carlie.kollath@journalinc.com