City’s traffic light report can be put to good use

A series of traffic light recommendations recently made by the Marietta Traffic Commission has drawn mixed reviews from residents, particularly the idea of removing a light near Washington Elementary School.

We do agree with the concerns at that particular intersection-Fifth and Washington streets-and hope that recommendation isn’t put into effect. There are many walkers at the school and in an area heavy with pedestrians, a light is very beneficial.

But we were pleased to see some of the other recommendations, and the list as a whole. We’re glad that members of the commission, past and present, are taking the time to look at these issues and do some homework on the dozens of intersections named in their recommendations.

While Marietta doesn’t have the traffic concerns and gridlock of metropolitan areas, it can certainly be annoying and inconvenient to sit at unnecessarily long lights or to be stopped at every light on a certain street, due to bad timing of the system.

If there are fixes to those problems, they should be considered and implemented.

For the most drastic changes, including switching several lights to flashing only, the commission has recommended a six-month trial period before the changes are made permanent. We would suggest an even briefer trial stint first. Perhaps officials should see how things go for a month and then move forward with a longer trial and record keeping at the site. If a safety concern is realized, six months is a long time to live with it.

Some lights, like the one at Second and Scammel streets, don’t seem to be needed. Others may prove more beneficial than we realize.

And we think most Marietta residents and visitors can agree that changes to improve light timing will be very appreciated.