This City of Carrollton maintains 104 signals. Each of these traffic signals was installed in accordance with the Texas Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (TxMUTCD). The TxMUTCD states that "Traffic control signals should not be installed unless one or more of the signal warrants in the MUTCD are met. Information should be obtained by means of engineering studies and compared with the requirements set forth in the warrants. the engineering study should indicate the installation of a traffic signal will improve the overall safety and/or operation of the intersection. If these requirements are not met, a traffic signal should neither be put into operation nor continued in operation." If one or more of the warrants are satisfied a signal is not automatically installed. If based on an engineering study, the signal would not enhance the overall operations and safety of the roadway, then a signal is not installed. If you have any further questions or would like to report a problem, please call us at 972-466-3200.
In 1978, the City of Carrollton began changing the appearance of our traffic signals from a vertical mounted signal head to a horizontal mount. By doing this we provided more clearance over the roadway and a more pleasing look to our traffic signals. The first thing we learned by doing this was, the arm that the signal heads were mounted to would bounce up and down under windy conditions. The bounce in the arm would occur when there was a wind of 15 mph or greater on the backside of the signal head. After some research of possible solutions to this problem, we implemented the use of wind wings. The wind wing got its name from the research of the bounce problem. We discovered that any time the wind blew 15 mph or greater on the backside of the arm, the arm would begin to bounce. By mounting a flat sign blank, (30"X60") at the end of the arm, we created a wind wing that helped divert the wind evenly around the arm, reducing the bounce. The wind wing is now a standard used on all signal arms over 25 feet long.
Red LED (Light Emitting Diodes) signals use very little energy, just 10.5 watts. A standard signal lamp uses 135 watts and has to be replaced annually. Light emitting diodes are semiconductors that emit electromagnetic energy, coincident with the change of energy state, at a diode junction. Simply put, LED's are miniature lights that use up to 90% less energy than a comparable incandescent light. The lamp-life is extended up to 10 years, compared to 1 to 2 years for an incandescent lamp. The use of LED traffic lamps, results in significant reduction in energy and signal maintenance. The use of LED technology reduces the overall utility bill by reducing the energy consumed at each signal. It also helps protect the environment since there are fewer harmful emissions (that is, less fossil fuel is required to produce electricity). With an average life of 10 years, bulb replacement and maintenance costs are greatly eliminated. The City of Carrollton standards for new or upgraded signals call for the use of Red, Green, and Pedestrian LED's.
Black camera-like devices
This little black canister is for fire pre-emption of the signal, and is called an Opticom system detector. The Opticom system uses high energy infrared technology to grant authorized vehicles momentary right-of-way at signalized intersections. The Opticom system gives an authorized Fire department vehicle a green indication as it travels, intersection by intersection. As the vehicle approaches, sends an encoded, infrared signal that is received, decoded, and validated to give the requesting vehicle a green light on that approach and a red light on all other approaches. Opticom has helped to provide a quicker response for fire equipment to arrive on the scene, a little bit sooner.
Overhead Street name signs
The overhead street name sign features the City of Carrollton logo and a block number. The sheeting is white and green and is retroreflective. We use a sheeting called 3M Diamond grade VIP (Visual Impact Performance). Unlike other reflective sheeting we use, VIP features an advanced prismatic design. As a result, it provides greater than normal reflectivity and remains highly visible to drivers in all-ambient light conditions including nighttime conditions. The prismatic cubes on VIP sheeting are specially shaped to return the light from a vehicle's headlights back to the motorist's eyes. This controlled light-return makes the sign brighter and visible longer, giving motorists more time to respond. In other areas of the city you may have noticed the fluorescent yellow-green school zone signs and the fluorescent yellow warning signs. We were among the first cities in the nation to use these colors for school zone use.
White Light (Red Light Confirmation Light)
White lights are used by the Police Department to assist in the prevention of red light running. Each pole has a white light mounted on it and is wired to the red light indication for that pole. The Police Officers can park downstream or anywhere where the white light is visible and detect red light runners without parking at the intersection. This feature allows our Police Department to enhance safety at our signalized intersections
Decorative Pole Caps & Bases
Decorative pole caps and bases are part of the city's corridor design plan. It is hard to make a traffic signal attractive to the eye. Decorative caps and bases have helped to not only make traffic signals a little more attractive, but also help to identify our traffic signals as Carrollton signals, and give Carrollton a unique aesthetic identity.
This Yagi antenna is part of the communication link between the traffic signal controller and the Advanced Traffic Management Center. With the use of spread spectrum radios, we can proudly boast having the first wireless traffic signal system in the world. Our ATM center is staffed from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. At the ATM center we monitor all the traffic signals in Carrollton. We have the capabilities of uploading or downloading data to any traffic signal. We also have 8-video cameras located around the city, linked to our ATM center by microwave antennas. All solar powered school flashers are controlled at the ATM center. The ATM center is located in the South Service Center at 1420 Hutton, and is open to public tours by appointment, Monday through Friday 8am-4pm call (972) 466-3000.
Pedestrian signals are installed to assist pedestrians in safely cross the street at signalized intersections. The "Walk" light gets you started crossing the intersection and the flashing " Don't Walk" gives you time to clear the crossing. The way it works is, the "Walk" time lets you know when it's safe to begin crossing the street and the flashing "Don't' Walk" time allows you to get the rest of the way across the intersection. If the flashing "Don't Walk" signal is flashing before you step off the curb, you should wait for the next "Walk" signal before crossing.
Pedestrian Push Buttons
Pedestrian push buttons are used to activate the pedestrian signals. You only have to push the button one time to receive a Walk light. It will not make any difference if you hold the button in or push it many times. All of our pedestrian push buttons are in compliance with ADA (Americans Disability Act) standards.
Carrollton has 8 video cameras located at busy intersections linked to the ATM center via microwave antennas. At the ATM center a system operator monitors the real time video pictures. The system operator uses this information to assist in incident management. It is very important when calling in traffic signal problems to identify the location, the type of problem, the direction of the problem, and the time of day the problem is occurring.
Solar powered radio controlled school flashers have been the standard in the City of Carrollton since 1990. The first solar flashers were installed on Peters Colony on August 1,1990. Our city staff designed and installed the first 12" double beacon solar powered school flashers in the nation and set a national standard for solar school flashers. From the ATM center we can turn on or off any or all the school flasher at any time of the day.
The Advanced Traffic Management Center is located in the South Service Center at 1420 Hutton Dr. It is staffed from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday - Friday and is open for public tours by appointment Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm