Tallahassee Traffic Light Install More Difficult Than You Might Think


A new traffic signal and some road alterations at a Tallahassee intersection are helping some residents breathe a little easier on the road. However, the installation process was a long one, and some think the measures aren’t enough, though it has improved the situation significantly.

Blountstown Highway at Geddie Road saw a traffic light go up recently following a deadly accident earlier this year that claimed the life of a young man, according to WCTV. The intersection highlights the good traffic signals can do in preventing accidents. But some problems can’t be solved with just a light, and installing one can be a bumpy ride.

Perfecting the Road to Perfect the Tech

One of the biggest challenges facing traffic light placement is understanding the road it’s being placed on, and sometimes this can take a lot of time.

Adding a traffic signal is sometimes coupled with changing the road, like at the Blountstown Highway and Geddie Road intersection. Leon County “added turn lanes, and lowered the speed limit from 55 to 45 in that area,” per WCTV.

The turn lanes help traffic flow easier, and the reduced speeds make the intersection less prone to drivers whipping around the road. Both these changes likely improve drivers’ ability to navigate the intersection’s lights, too.

The traffic signal’s technology also takes some time to research and implement. Traffic lights need to have detection areas measured, timing cycles adjusted, and pedestrian crossings calibrated, according to Tallahassee’s traffic signal informational.

This poses issues not only for drivers, but for the government and contractors installing the light, who need to research the intersection to make sure the light is effective.

The road itself poses enough problems — a Leon County Public Works official told WCTV the plans have been considered since 2012 — but when it’s time to actually install traffic signals, what’s underneath can make things even more difficult.

Utilities Can Get In the Way

Another reason it took so long to deploy the new traffic light on Blountstown Highway was underground utilities, according to the same spokesperson WCTV met with.

Many utilities are placed underground, most often water, sewers, drainage, gas or oil, and sometimes power lines, according to the City of Tallahassee’s Call Before You Dig page. Traffic signals often come with underground sensors to detect cars, which have to be placed carefully to avoid those utilities. The permitting and testing process for underground sensors can take time, like at the Blountstown–Geddie intersection.

Because of all the difficulties traffic lights face, they sometimes aren’t worth installing, and might not be the best safety tool anyway. Fortunately, other options exist.

Traffic Signals Might Not Be The Best Option

Sometimes an intersection needs a specialized traffic option instead of just a standard traffic light. Two brothers who own an auto maintenance business at the intersection told WCTV that while the signal has helped, enforcement and other changes might be needed.

This can come in the form of roundabouts, which allow a continuous flow of traffic, or medians separating two sides of the road at dangerous stretches. Cities have a variety of methods for changing traffic patterns and can research their effectiveness on an individual basis.

Deploying stop lights, roundabouts, law enforcement, and more can help keep the streets safer, but it’s called an accident for a reason. Even with these changes, the intersection at Blountstown and Geddie and others might still be dangerous for you and your loved ones.

Our car accident attorneys have years of knowledge and experience fighting for auto accident compensation. They can potentially review information gathered at intersections from cameras or eyewitnesses, seek the results of reports and tests filed regarding the accident, and possibly take your case to trial if the settlement doesn’t meet what you might need to get back on your feet.

Fill out our no-risk, totally free case evaluation form now if you’re ready.