Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Jonesborough traffic signals set to blink during early morning hours

During the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting on May 9, aldermen approved Mayor Kelly Wolfe’s idea to change the sequence of traffic signals along Jackson Boulevard so they blink yellow/red from midnight to 6 a.m.
When the lights are blinking, motorists driving through Jonesborough on 11-E will not have to come to a full stop at the lights, which Wolfe said is asking them to waste minutes of their lives when there is little to no traffic.
Because the police department recommended the blinking period instead end at 5 a.m., traffic counts were run on side streets associated with signals to analyze traffic volumes.
Operations Manager Craig Ford told BMA members the traffic counts were narrowed to one-hour loops to help determine when the blinking sequence should end.
The count on Forrest Drive recorded eight cars during 5-6 a.m., with an increase to 49 cars between 6-7 a.m.
Traffic counts on Main Street measured a car passing every two minutes during the same time periods.
Data was collected at different sites, including Headtown Road, on three weekdays.
“I see nothing in the traffic counts at this point that would have me anticipate an increase in accidents,” Ford said.
Wolfe asked aldermen to consider his original timeframe of midnight to 6 a.m., excluding the Boones Creek Road intersection, and Chuck Vest made a motion for approval. Due to traffic volume at the Boones Creek Road intersection, leaders decided it would remain as a normal traffic signal.
Alderman Mary Gearhart seconded the motion, saying she would like to revisit the change after it has been in effect for a period of time to ensure it is providing the desired service.
Gearhart said she received two calls last week from people who work the night shift.
“There’s something about sitting there alone [while stopped at a traffic light], not knowing who is coming up on you,” Gearhart said.
The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Ford said implementing the blinking sequence proves the town’s installation of traffic cameras, which monitor motorists for red light and speeding violations, are not about revenue.
While Ford said the cameras will still monitor speeding, Wolfe requested they err on the side of the motorists during the changeover at 6 a.m.
Also during the meeting, aldermen authorized the mayor to submit a grant application of up to $1.5 million to the Economic Development Administration to help complete phase two of the town’s wastewater treatment improvements project.
Alderman Chuck Vest made the motion, which was seconded by Mary Gearhart.
“We could save the rate payers $1 million with the expansion of the treatment plant,” Wolfe said.