Stop and Go: 78th CES works hard to keep base moving

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • Robins Public Affairs
Do you get a little frustrated sometimes sitting in your car, waiting for the traffic signal to someday change in your favor? It's OK to say yes because we've all been there.  

But where you stop when you approach that traffic signal can have a great deal to do with whether you move or sit a little longer. 

The ideal location is to stop directly behind what's called the stop bar - a solid, white line that extends across all approach lanes in advance of a traffic signal. You'll immediately notice it several feet in advance of and parallel to a crosswalk line. 

"Cars need to stop at the stop bar because it is sensed or detected from the stop bar to 15 to 20 feet behind it," said Steven Hall, 78th Civil Engineer Squadron Alarm Shop supervisor. "At that stop bar you're in a detection field."

For example, a car's tires should not be stopped on top of a crosswalk - which is out of the detection zone. The crosswalks are located at 10th Street at Robins Parkway; Richard Ray Boulevard at Robins Parkway; First Street at Page Road; and Watson Boulevard at Byron Street.      

Depending if you're driving on a main street (such as Robins Parkway) or a sidestreet (for example, Ninth Street) and how much traffic there is, cycle times in waiting for a light to change vary with a wait time of up to two minutes - even if it seems longer.   

Signal lights at the intersection of Richard Ray Boulevard and Robins Parkway were the most recent signals installed, with new mast arms replacing span wire signal systems.

There are four span wire intersections left at Robins to be replaced with mast arms. 

When the base has all mast arms, it will be better travel for all vehicles, as those are placed higher for clearance. 

Another benefit is that traffic signals on mast arms last longer.  

When lights are replaced, there is a method to it. 

The most recent project involved placing signals within a certain distance of the street's stop bar. The intersection at Richard Ray and Robins now has signals in front of the lanes for proper placement, according to Hall. With the upgrade there's better signal visibility and vehicle detection.    

In case you were wondering, Robins has 11 signalized intersections. While busy times at traffic signals can vary depending on the time of day, it's believed the light at Tenth Street and Robins Parkway is the busiest. 

In the event of a power outage, there are battery backup systems to ensure lights will work. 

If you witness a traffic light that isn't working, call the 78th Civil Engineer Group's customer service desk at 926-5657.