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Six Saginaw intersections losing traffic lights in favor of stop signs

A 90-day study of the intersections starts Wednesday to determine whether the changes will be permanent
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:40 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WJRT) - Changes are coming to six Saginaw intersections on Wednesday.

City officials are planning to remove the traffic lights and add stop signs. According to the Saginaw Public Services Department, this will help with traffic flow and save the city money.

According to U.S. Department of Transportation, a traffic signal on average costs about $8,000 a year to operate and maintain. The city of Saginaw is getting rid of six at the following intersections, which should save about $48,000.

  • Genesee Avenue and Mason Street.
  • Genesee Avenue and Woodbridge Street.
  • Genesee Avenue and Cherry Street.
  • Genesee Avenue and Perkins Street.
  • Janes Avenue and Fifth Avenue.
  • Janes Avenue and Sixth Avenue.

“We are proposing to remove the signals permanently at those locations and so today were putting them in flash for 90 days to evaluate what happens,” said Deputy Director of Public Services Beth London.

She said the traffic lights were needed years ago when roads like Genesee and Janes avenues were used for General Motors employees to commute. But the traffic volumes just aren’t there anymore.

“What happens if you have unwanted signals is, you’ll increase your red light running. People will run them,” London said. “You could increase rear-end accidents and people begin to disregard signals because they’re not warranted. They’re not needed.”

The usual traffic lights will start flashing yellow or red Wednesday and temporary stop signs will be installed at each of the intersections. London the stop signs will become permanent replacements if all goes well after 90 days.

“If we don’t see any increase in accidents or any issues, we will permanently remove those signals,” she said.

London said more intersections around Saginaw could lose their traffic lights over the next few years as officials continue studying traffic needs.

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