New Genesee & Avalon light: SDOT responds to initial reports of issues

Dianne Thomas, SDOT, asked that her message be passed on to the neighborhood (the text in bold is my emphasis). This has also been posted to the NDNC email group list.

From: Thomas, Dianne
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2013 8:54 AM
Subject: Avalon & Genesee signal

We’re receiving a high volume of emails expressing various concerns about the new traffic signal at Avalon & Genesee.  These concerns are being entered into our Customer Service Request (CSR) system, and folks who’ve written to us will receive a response.

Whenever a new signal is installed, we monitor the operation closely and generally expect there can be a need for a few adjustments.  We’re unable to be on-site 24 hours a day, so we do appreciate receiving feedback.  The most helpful feedback will include the time of day and the day of the week a problem is experienced along with the details of the concern.

Emails can be best directed to, or anyone may access the CSR system directly by going to and choosing General Inquiry – Transportation as the service type.

Note: the above link to the CSR system can be used to request any city service from any department; just choose the appropriate service type in the drop-down menu.  If none of the options look correct, choose General Inquiry – Customer Service Bureau.

Update: In response to my question about how the lights are triggered, and from a report from another city traffic engineer, Dianne Thomas, SDOT, passed on some helpful information about how the lights are triggered, and what may be causing the delay from Genesee:

One thing worth mentioning is that the uphill (westbound) approach on Genesee uses video detection, and when Chris was at the site earlier this week he did notice drivers pulling forward, well past the stop bar markings.  That area is not within the detection zone, so the drivers who’ve complained about waiting forever for the light to change are most likely pulling too far forward. 

 The eastbound approach uses in-pavement detection, and we do not use detection on main streets (in this case, Avalon).

I mentioned we are in the habit (at least I am) of pulling far up to the top of the hill from before the light was installed, so it will take some practice to remember to stop well back as the markings indicate. I asked again about the possibility of having the pavement roughened up, since the hill is a challenge.


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