City plans to remove traffic light at 108th & Oak
The City of Omaha plans to remove a traffic light at 108th and Oak, an area affecting families who use Oakdale Elementary, Rockbrook Elementary, West Campus and the CAPS program.
A sign with notice of the light removal has been posted at the intersection. The city will take public comment for 90 days; for the first 45 the crosswalk light will flash yellow and then it will be bagged for the remaining 45 days.
The following is a letter from the Mayor’s Office, sharing more information regarding the light removal:
Over the next 10 years, the City will implement a $35 million traffic signal master plan to modernize and upgrade the traffic signal system to improve safety and efficiency for all users. The City currently has 1,000 traffic signals using outdated technology.
80% of the cost will be paid by the Federal Highway Administration.
To qualify for the federal funding, each signal must be evaluated to determine if it meets the “warrants” required by the federal Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
MUTCD is a document issued by the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to specify the standards by which traffic signs, road surface markings, and signals are designed, installed, and used.
Phase A of the evaluation involves 200 signals, including the pedestrian signals at 51st and Farnam and 52nd and Chicago.
Area school principals were contacted in September for input on the use of these crosswalks and the impact on student safety. The City Council’s Public Works Committee was briefed in January 2017. Council members Jerram, Festersen and Melton were members of this committee .
In April 2016, the traffic division installed counters on the signals to accurately count the number of pedestrians using the crosswalks. The counters collected data from April 16-May 2, prior to the end of the school year.
The MUTCD warrants for these crosswalks requires a count of 20 pedestrians in peak hours of the day. During the evaluation period (April 16-May 2), the average number of pedestrians using the crosswalks was 17 for an entire 24-hour period, far below the MUTCD requirement.
The pedestrian count is the base measurement for this evaluation, traffic counts and gaps in traffic are also considered. A gap in traffic is the time between the passage of one vehicle to the next.
There will now be a 90-day period for public comment. For the next 45 days the crosswalk light will flash yellow, followed by a 45-day period when the lights will be bagged.
In addition to the pedestrian signals at 51st & Farnam and 52nd & Chicago, four other signals are scheduled to be removed:
120th & Arbor
108th & Oak
73rd & Mercy
84th & Spring
Signs will be installed this week to notify drivers and neighbors. The same public comment period will apply to these locations.
Those with comments and feedback are encouraged to call the City of Omaha Public Works Department at 402-444-5160.