Better traffic lights proposed in Metro spending plan


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Everyone knows one of the most aggravating issues of sitting in Nashville is street traffic.

Many have been backed up at an intersection by a red light, while there’s hardly a car in the lanes or direction where the green light is.

Ten million of Mayor Megan Barry’s proposed $475 million capital spending plan is slated for Traffic Signalization Improvements.

It will be a step toward addressing some of the upgrades necessary to better synchronize lights for smoother traffic flow on Nashville streets.

The person overseeing the proposed project is Chip Knauf, who heads up traffic and parking for the Metro Nashville Public Works Department.

“This is where we program the signal timings that we are working so hard on right now to get right,” Knauf told News 2 in the Metro Public Works division responsible for the traffic lights.

He’s also the guy who often gets the complaints, especially when people find out what he does.

“And someone will say, ‘You’re that guy?’ And then they say, ‘What can you do about this traffic signal? It gets me every time,'” he added.

He showed News 2 us what he calls traffic signal controllers purchased within the last two years.

Knauf called them “the brains” of those sometimes frustrating lights, but the new hardware needed some new software.

“What we are getting in this ten million is some timing analysis–some brainpower–to go with this infrastructure,” added the traffic and parking director.

That timing analysis is about $500,000 of the ten million dollars proposed in the capital spending plan.

The rest of that ten million dollars includes things like signal traffic construction, materials, maintenance and consulting services.

Mayor Barry summed up her hopes for the proposal to News 2 on Tuesday.

“We are putting down the infrastructure for the technology so that all those lights can be synced and thats going to get you through lights faster,” said the mayor.

No one calls it a traffic solution for Nashville, but a start instead of all that stopping.

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