Increased red light waits in Huntsville? Everything you need to know

City Hall
The City Council meets in the Municipal Building on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. (Nathan Watson / The Bama Buzz)

Huntsville City Council members are addressing one of Huntsville residents’ biggest problems: traffic.

Specifically, they’re taking a closer look at traffic accidents that occur in intersections. WAAY 31 reported that there were 7,300 traffic accidents in intersections last year, which is up 1,500, or 25%, from 2020.

The most recent proposed solution might make your red light waits longer—read on for more details.

City Council’s proposals

Downtown Intersections
Traffic accidents at intersections increased by 25% last year. (Jacob Blankenship / The Bama Buzz)

City Council addressed the issue in their February 10 council meeting.

Bill Kling, who represents District 4, shared his thoughts first. His solution? Retiming traffic lights so that they remain red longer.

We need to find out what we can do. If red-red is not the solution, we need to find out what the solution is.

Bill Kling, District 4 City Councilor

“Red-red” means retiming the lights so that multiple lights are red at the same time.

Kling’s idea comes in response to the initial solution proposed by District 2 Council Member Frances Akridge. Akridge’s solution to install more red-light cameras was voted down by the council during their Jan. 27 meeting.

Nicholas Nene, deputy director of the traffic department, was not confident that increasing red light wait times would solve the problem. In a statement Akridge shared with WAAY 31, Nene said the following:

Studies have shown that drivers then tend to run lights, if the times are too high, knowing that that side street traffic will not get a green.

Nicholas Nene, Deputy Director of Traffic Engineering

Akridge and Kling are both looking to the city’s Traffic Engineering Department for a solution.

“We’re not looking for a magical solution or a big debate,” Kling said, but instead asking for more ideas.

Be part of the solution

Downtown street
City councilors are looking for traffic solutions. (Jacob Blankenship / The Bama Buzz)

The City Council invites Huntsville residents to share your solutions. Here are a couple ways you can get involved:

  • City Council meetings: Held every second and fourth Thursday each month in the City Council Chambers of the Municipal Building. Watch past meetings online.
  • Traffic Town Hall: Residents are invited to discuss traffic safety issues at a town hall March 9.

How do you think the city council should address the increase in intersection accidents? Sound off on social media, and make sure to tag @hvilleblast.

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Emily Phillips
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