What's Wrong With the Light

Believe it or not, main streets usually get more green time. So while waiting for the light to change (on a side street), remember we do most of our driving on main streets. Patience please.

Be patient, sensors activate green signals for each direction when problems occur. This might cause long red time even in light traffic, but each direction is insured a green signal.

Wait Time


Major streets come together at some intersections. Each direction might get 60 seconds (or more) of green time. Consider left turns, straight traffic, and yellow signal timing for each direction. A full cycle of an intersection might take several minutes. When traffic in opposing directions is light, a couple of minutes waiting seems like 10!

Delays can also be caused if you do not stop in the right location. A lot of the intersections are equipped with loop detection wires. So it is very important to pull up to the stop bar without going over so that your vehicle will be detected. The loop detectors will send a signal to the traffic signal cabinet that there is a vehicle holding for a green light. Going past the stop bar or not pulling up close enough can increase your wait time.

Traffic Engineer Goals


Traffic engineers attempt to move the greatest volume of traffic in the shortest amount of time. Signals are usually programmed so that each intersection is "timed" to work with other intersections. While 2, 4, 8, 16, cars are waiting for a light to change (on a minor street), 16, 32, 64, or more cars might move along the major street. Based on traffic volume data (which varies from day to day), it is sometimes best to hold the minor street red for a specific period of time (causing traffic to "stack up"), while allowing a greater volume of traffic to travel through green signals on the major street.

White Stop Bar


A lot of the intersections are equipped with loop detection wires. At those signals it is important to pull up to the stop bar without going over so that your vehicle will be detected and will send a signal to the traffic signal cabinet that there is a vehicle holding for a green light.Try pulling up to the white stop bar without going past it.

Walk Signs


If no one is moving in any direction a pedestrian may have activated a "walk" signal. Pedestrian signal timing is the combination of both "walk" and flashing "don't walk." The pedestrian may still be crossing the intersection. However, once the signal is activated, it will come on even if the pedestrian has already crossed during a break in traffic. Yield to pedestrians!

Light Still Not Working


Do you still think the timing is off and the light's not working right? Relax, report the problem and help will be on the way! If there is an emergency situation or all signals are out please call the Gallatin Police Department at 615-452-1313. For non emergency complaints, you may submit the complaint online by emailing Aaron.Hickson@gallatin-tn.gov or you can call the Engineering Division at 615-451-5965. 
When submitting a signal complaint please include a detailed description of the issue, intersection & direction of travel, and time of day.