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Farmington to swap out traffic lights with stop signs

Data showed low traffic volume prompting change
A newly completed roundabout at the intersection of Main Street and Orchard Avenue in downtown Farmington before full completion in December 2020. Orchard Avenue is one of the streets that will have a stop sign placed at its intersection with Apache Street, up the road from where this photo was taken. (Durango Herald file)

FARMINGTON – The city of Farmington will swap out traffic lights for stop signs at six intersections because traffic volume, among other factors, did not meet the threshold to require traffic lights.

The lights identified for replacement will be in flashing mode through Aug. 12 to “collect data,” according to the city.

Street lights that flash red are to be treated as stop signs. Signals that flash yellow allow drivers to proceed with caution, without stopping.

Signaled intersections that currently have flashing lights that will be replaced with stop signs in coming months include: Butler and Ute, Apache and Dustin, Apache and Orchard, Main and Schwartz, Broadway and Schwartz, and Sullivan and 15th. Each of the intersections will have two stop signs put in for the secondary streets that are off the primary streets.

A study took into account nine variables in determining whether a traffic signal or stop sign is warranted. Those categories include: the eight-hour vehicle volume, four-hour vehicle volume, pedestrian volume, school crossings, coordinated signal systems, crash experience, road networks and other factors.

None of the intersections listed met any of the warrants required to keep the intersections as traffic lights, according to the city. Because none of the criteria was met, the intersection traffic lights will be replaced with stop signs.

The data collected to determine the change was collected in 2019 before the pandemic, and before Main Street reopening after renovations, so neither of those were a factor in the data collection.

mmitchell@durangoherald.com

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