Traffic Signal Responsibilities
The signal personnel maintains and repair the City’s 102 signalized intersections. In addition, this group overhauls and upgrades 1-3 intersections each year, bringing these intersections to the latest standards set forth in the Federal and Texas Manuals on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (TMUTCD).
Other duties include school and warning flasher installation, maintenance, and repair, as well as monitoring traffic patterns for the various signal timings for the City’s arterial network. The signal system is integrated through the Centracs centralized computer system.
Citizen Requested Traffic Signal Installation Process
Citizens can request to have a traffic signal installed at an intersection, however, a determination must be made that the signal will warrant. To do this a warrant study is conducted. The first step in the process is to answer the following questions:
- Are there so many cars on both streets that signal control is necessary to clear up driver confusion or relieve traffic congestion?
- Is main street traffic so heavy that drivers on the side street try to cross when it is unsafe?
- Are there lots of pedestrians crossing a busy, main street?
- Are there so many school children crossing the street that special controls are necessary for their protection? If so, is a traffic signal the best solution?
- Does an intersection's accident history indicate that a signal will reduce the possibility of a collision?
- Will a traffic signal at this location help improve traffic flow and help drivers maintain a uniform pace without stopping unnecessarily?
- Can gridlock with a nearby signal be avoided?
- Is there a combination of the above conditions which indicates that a traffic signal will be an asset rather than a liability to safety?
These answers are then compared against minimum guidelines established from many years of study throughout the country and published in the (TMUTCD). Where these guidelines called "warrants" are met, traffic signals generally operate effectively.
A traffic signal installed at the right location can both improve the flow traffic and reduce the number and severity of collisions. However, a traffic signal placed unnecessarily or for the convenience of a few will be a source of danger and annoyance for all who use the intersection: pedestrians and drivers alike.
Traffic Signal Malfunctions
Traffic signals are a top priority for Traffic Division. The City of Wichita Falls uses the latest equipment and technology available to ensure the safety and efficiency of our traffic system. All signalized intersections are on a tri-annual preventative maintenance schedule. Safety monitors are also installed at all intersections to prevent conflicting green lights from being displayed. These monitors are thoroughly inspected, tested, and certified annually. Occasionally, signals incur problems ranging from power failures or lamp outs to detector malfunctions. When a malfunction occurs, traffic technicians are available around the clock to restore the signals to their proper operation.
We do rely on the driving public to help inform us when a traffic signal is out or malfunctioning. To report a malfunctioning traffic signal, please call (940)761-7640 from 8am to 5pm or call Police Dispatch at (940)720-5000 after hours and weekends.