You might need to rethink that drive-time between a yellow light and when it turns red.  The Minnesota Department of Transportation is working this week to recalibrate and adjust the signalized corridors in a number of Northland communities.  According to details released by the agency, MNDOT will be working on the signal timing on Highway 61 in Two Harbors, Highway 169 in Hibbing, and Highway 48 in Hinckley.

The changes made by the Minnesota Department of Transportation are the direct result of a traffic signal optimization study that was done earlier this year.  The agency hopes that the changes they made (directed by the study) will improve mobility and reduce delay for drivers as they travel though the affected communities.

Drivers will more-than-likely notice the changes - especially those who travel the routes on a daily basis.  According to MNDOT, drivers will "need to pay attention at the signals, as the timing and sequencing may not be what they are used to."  As an example - when "making a left turn at certain intersections, drivers may find that the green left turn arrow appears a a different time in the cycle."  Additionally, some of the flashing yellow arrows will also have moved in the cycle; those yellow arrows may "operate....at different times of the day to best fit the traffic volumes."  In addition, MNDOT says that "[d]rivers on the local side streets may notice longer wait times to accommodate traffic flow on the corridors."

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While there could potentially be some temporary drawbacks for "daily drivers", the long term results should also be noticeable and positive.  Most drivers will benefit from reduced delays, shortened and reduced stops, better fuel economy, reduced emissions, and lessened wear and tear on their vehicles.  The transportation industry has the facts and figures to back these claims up; the Minnesota Department of Transportation shares that "[n]ationally, updating traffic signal timing has been shown to reduce traffic delay by 15-20 percent, reduce travel times by up to 25-percent, and has a benefit to cost ratio that can exceeed 40:1."

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