Traffic signal on major Chapel Hill road improved after staying green for only a few seconds

Driving You Crazy

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — The timing of a traffic signal on a major highway in Chapel Hill is no longer driving a driver crazy after CBS 17 got answers from the town’s traffic engineers.

The light is located at U.S. 15/501, Fordham Boulevard, and Old Durham Road. The driver said the light turning onto Old Durham Road stayed green for less than 10 seconds and caused traffic congestion.

The Traffic Management Center of Chapel Hill said a crew checked the signal and modified the timing of the traffic signal after finding it “does not provide optimal performance for current traffic patterns.”

After a traffic study in 2015, the timing plan for the signals on Fordham Boulevard were put on a 3-minute cycle. The left-turn green arrow to Old Durham Road was programmed for 10 seconds based upon that study. We’re told this was to reduce wait times at the light.

According to a statement from the town, “After an analysis of operations, the Town has determined this timing plan does not provide optimal performance for current traffic patterns. This is especially true with the reduction of traffic volume as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The signal is also under construction due to the development of Wegmans. Modifications are being made to the intersection in preparation for the opening, which is set for Feb. 24.

If you have something driving you crazy on the roads and you want answers, email Laura Smith at

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