By John Shumway

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ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – It’s beginning to look a lot like McKnightmare, up and down the road.

The holiday season is here on one of our area’s busiest shopping corridors. But for the first time, McKnight Road has it’s new Adaptive Traffic Signals (ATS) in operation.

PennDOT District 11 Traffic Engineer Todd Kravits says the system is designed “to continually adapt to the ever changing traffic volumes we have on the roadway.”

The system’s cameras and radar units see the traffic and change the timing of the lights to adapt.

Kravits says, “We find that about 95 percent of the time it does work. However, there are times during heavier volumes of traffic that maybe it doesn’t work as well as we’d like to see it.”

Kravits says since the ATS is designed to give preference to the heaviest flow of traffic “it might shut off a side street or a left turn lane because the time is set too short.”

One driver pointed out the northbound left turn at Bed, Bath and Beyond only allowed two cars through during the busy holiday shopping period on Saturday.

Kravits says, “We went back through and looked at the logs and we found for those left turn lanes the minimum time was set for eight seconds. So after eight seconds the signals changed. We can adjust that minimum time a little bit higher so it will still service that movement and it will work as efficiently as it can within those new parameters.”

But to make those changes PennDOT has to know there is an issue which is where they are depending on the drivers. If you are experiencing long delays, let PennDOT know, but be specific about where you were. And Kravits says they need to know the “time of the day, day of the week, raining, snowing. We can go back through the logs and see what happened.”

Finding and fixing the issues now is critical because come next year Kravits says, “We’re going to be deploying an extension of the McKnight Road system to Route 19 and the Wexford Flats. So we will have on system all the way from the Butler County line to I-279 in Ross Township.”

Of course McKnight Road is not the only ATS in our area and PennDOT welcomes drivers input on issues you may be experiencing as you drive through the ATS in Monroeville, Murrysville, or the Wexford Flats as well.

To notify PennDOT of an issue you can call the Customer Care Line: 1 800-932-4600

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