Omaha City Retiming Lights on Dodge Street to Reduce Travel Time and Improve Safety

Omaha, Neb. (WOWT) – On Monday, the City of Omaha’s Department of Public Works announced changes to the Dodge Street sidewalk to help improve efficiency.

According to a Department of Public Works release, the Division of Transportation Engineering has adjusted signal timing at 37 intersections at Dodge, Harney and Farnam streets, between 67th and 33rd streets.

Avery Schnitker works at Dundee Double Shot Coffee Shop at 50th and Dodge and has for the past eight years. She travels in a Dodge.

“Every day, I’d go from 50th to 132nd, so every evening was pretty high.”

Driving on the road can be stressful, dangerous and time-consuming.

“A lot of people try to win the race instead of going home safely,” he says.

But now, the city says the change will improve safety and commute times on Dodge. The city estimates that by re-timing the intersection lights, travel times could be reduced by up to 20% during peak traffic hours.

“I wouldn’t say I haven’t noticed any improvements [yet]But it’s certainly a good idea in theory,” Schnitker adds.

Adjustments were also made to traffic lights during off-peak hours to make the signals ‘more responsive to side street traffic’.

The city’s release did not specify when the changes began, but said the move would also improve pedestrian safety.

Re-programmed pedestrian crossing lights at 72 different intersections allow pedestrians to cross the road before turning cars turn green. The city says this allows pedestrians to ‘establish a more visible presence at the intersection’.

‘Cycle lengths at Dodge Street signals have been reduced over 18 hours of a typical weekday, resulting in reduced overall delays for pedestrians and drivers,’ the release states.

When it comes to accidents, Schnitker says, signal adjustments are estimated to reduce more than 50 accidents.

“The intersection at 50th and Dodge, in particular, I see an accident once a week or two weeks, we see it all the time.”

The changes are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 427 tons, save Omaha drivers more than 48,000 gallons of gas, and save drivers 30,300 hours of travel time.

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