CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Recent changes to traffic signal programming on the 25th Street corridor of state Highway 60 are expected to generate at least $1 million in savings in time, fuel and emissions annually, a recent traffic study shows.
In a recent meeting, representatives of Cleveland Utilities and traffic engineering consulting firm Cannon & Cannon Inc. of Knoxville discussed the traffic flow improvement project with city leaders.
"The improvements made are about as far as you can take it without making physical changes to the roadway," said Alan Childers, director of Cannon & Cannon's transportation and traffic division.
The project, which encompassed 11 signals between Candies Lane and Spring Creek Boulevard, has resulted in significant improvements for both eastbound and westbound traffic, officials said.
Eastbound traffic now experiences 34 percent less time on the corridor during the peak morning hour, 24 percent less time at midday and 39 percent less time during the evening peak, according to the Cannon & Cannon study. That equates to 13, 11 and 21 minutes saved, respectively, for those periods.
Westbound traffic savings amount to a 10 percent morning peak travel time reduction, or about five minutes; evening peak reduction is 27 percent, or 18 minutes. Midday travel savings are 33 percent less time, or 17 minutes.
Cleveland Utilities' traffic division continues to make tweaks to the corridor, said Bart Borden, vice president of the utility's electric division.
Traffic coordinator Tad Bacon recently changed signal programming at the intersections of 25th Street and Peerless Road and 25th Street and Keith Street to accommodate church-related traffic at Sunday lunch and on Wednesday evenings, Borden said.
"Tad's identifying some very unique situations in traffic movement and making adjustments to help keep that traffic flow," Borden said.
Childers made a number of recommendations for physical changes that could improve traffic flow and safety along the 25th Street corridor, including intersection improvements at Candies Lane and the Interstate 75 southbound ramp and turn lane improvements at Georgetown Road, Westside Drive and Peerless Road.
Intersection improvements at 25th Street and North Ocoee Street might also require supporting work at the 25th Street intersections at Chambliss Avenue and Parker Street, Childers said. Ocoee Middle School traffic affects all three intersections during peak hours, he said.
"It is our opinion that in conjunction with U.S. Highway 64, it [the 25th Street corridor] is the most important east-west roadway corridor in Bradley County," Childers said.
In related business, state transportation officials and local stakeholders are reviewing proposed improvements further west along the Highway 60 corridor, from Candies Lane down to Eureka Road on Georgetown Pike.
Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at email@example.com.