Steinbach City Council has acknowledged the many complaints of poorly timed traffic lights in the City of Steinbach, specifically on Hwy 12 N.
Council has asked administration to meet with Manitoba Infrastructure and come up with a resolution to fix the problem.
Councillor Jac Siemens says he has heard many complaints regarding traffic lights on the highway, and about how long it takes to drive through Steinbach on any given day, especially during peak hours.
“Our traffic study does verify the amount of increased traffic that we are dealing with, but it's not just traffic, it's the lights that we get complaints about.”
One grievance he has heard quite often is that the left-hand turn signals throughout Steinbach are not long enough.
“The Penfield Acres intersection, for example, only three cars can make it through turning left from the North,” he says. “The left-hand turn at the Superstore and Co-op intersection allows only six cars to go when there are often 10 or more cars in the turning lane.”
And this is something everyone in the city experiences, including the councillors themselves.
“That's an experience that I've had as well, where it's taken a couple sets of lights to go through. The left-hand turn lanes at many of the intersections are an issue.”
He also mentions the left-hand turn signals at Golfair Rd. and Clearspring cycles through frequently, even if there's no traffic around.
There are also issues that differ depending on the time of the day.
"The program changes for the night and it has caused issues as well. The traffic lights do not stay green for North and southbound traffic on #12, especially frustrating the snow haulers that are out there that need to stop at intersections when there's no traffic around early mornings.”
With all of these issues piling up and the countless complaints from residents, Councillor Siemens says it is important the city does something about it.
“The bottom line is we need to address these issues as we hear ongoing complaints of restricted traffic.”
Along with synchronizing the lights, he notes it may be a good idea to have flashing lights at night so traffic can go through quicker.
“During the night from roughly 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM, maybe we could suggest a flashing orange for the North-South traffic and red for the East-West traffic on the #12. Just as a suggestion.”
Councillor Michael Zwaagstra agrees with Councillor Siemens, saying he also finds the traffic lights to be frustrating.
“I do hear complaints and I experience it myself. There were a couple of times in December where I'm going from my house in the South end of Steinbach to Clearspring Mall, and I timed it. It took me almost 25 minutes.”
He says a big reason for the long drive is that he can’t always get through the green lights.
"There's so much traffic that is turning, where I'm sitting at a green light and I can't go, because it’s all filled up from the cars that are turning. You miss an entire cycle just sitting there at a green light and you have to wait for the next one.”
Zwaagstra says this is a big issue that needs to be fixed.
“I agree with Councillor Siemens that we do need to relay this information to Manitoba Infrastructure and have this addressed."