Avoid a commuter nightmare with portable traffic signals

portable traffic signals

Dave Stickney fully understands his arrival at a bridge or intersection is bound to elicit muttered words and the rolling of eyes. Seeing him begin to set up portable traffic signals means one thing to local residents: Weeks, if not months, of delays for their daily commutes.

Seeing Stickney in action, the motorists instantly realize the bridge or road will be reduced to one lane while the necessary upgrades are painstakingly completed.

But to one expanding neighborhood in Waterloo, Ont., Stickney avoided the ire of commuters by arriving on site with two sets of North America Traffic’s PTL 2.4x portable traffic signals.

“Every few minutes when we were there setting up the units, somebody was coming up and thanking us,” he recalls. “They’d roll down their windows, stop and tell us, ‘It’s about time somebody put lights here.’ They were actually quite happy to see us.”

A traffic ‘nightmare’

As the Traffic Control Specialist with Sunbelt Rentals, owner of CRS (Contractors Rental Supply), Stickney keeps busy driving all over Ontario. In just two years of installing North America Traffic’s extended run-time and daily setup portable traffic signals, he’s seen it all.

Based at the Sunbelt/CRS branch in Kitchener, he was well aware of the tricky situation faced by the residents in the burgeoning city of Waterloo. An infrastructure construction project for an expanded subdivision resulted in one of two entry points for Woolwich Street being shut off. This forced all residents and visitors of the neighbourhood to enter and exit at the Woolwich intersection with busy University Avenue, where there are no permanent traffic lights.

“That made traffic an absolute nightmare there,” Stickney said. “Everybody had to come out of Woolwich Street at that one spot to get across or on to University Avenue. With University Avenue being one of the major arteries in Waterloo, it created a potentially dangerous situation for motorists. When you have two ways of getting out and, then all of a sudden, you eliminate one, it creates a major traffic challenge.”

With input from the local municipality overseeing the project, the contractor Sierra Infrastructure reached out to Stickney after deciding temporary traffic signals at the intersection would control the traffic, “and it did,” Stickney said. “The local residents were very happy with what went on there.”

Balanced approach

Instead of having to spend five or more minutes carefully trying to weave their way onto or across University Avenue, Woolwich Street commuters benefited from the microwave detection technology of the solar-charged, battery-powered North America Traffic PTL 2.4x system.

“The microwave detection would sense them, turn the lights red on University, and give them the green to go,” Stickney said, who correspondingly had the lights on busy, four-lane University Avenue set to otherwise stay green to keep traffic flowing. This system and setup, he said, provided the best balance between busy arterial traffic flow and local residential needs.

While positive feedback from local commuters may be novel to Stickney, it is quite familiar from his repeat customers who use the North America Traffic products. They remark on the ease of setup, ease of use and reliability.

“In fact, I haven’t had any complaints from any of the customers I have dealt with,” Stickney said. “Once these units are set up and programmed, you just leave them alone.”