New traffic lights, less traffic for Pasco

New traffic lights, less traffic for Pasco »Play Video
PASCO, Wash. - It's one of the busiest spots in town. More than 50,000 cars come through the Burden Rd, Road 68 intersection every day.

Barbara Winder tries to avoid the area because of it.

She said, "I don't like lights and I don't like the traffic."

Winder says she limits the amount of trips she makes to the Road 68 corridor. She often takes lesser known routes.

"The back roads are getting a little bit busier. If I do not need to come down 68, if I'm going out to the mall or somewhere else I'll go down 100 or back around," she said.

But by this time next year, Barbara and the thousands of other drivers should see some improvement. Pasco is overhauling its current traffic light system.

Ahmad Qayoumi is in charge of the multi-million dollar project. He's been driving around Pasco to identify the biggest issues firsthand.

He said, "Some people say, well, this is not fun but it's fun for me to just sit at an intersection and look at the congestion."

The new lights will make signal timing for flexible. It should solve the problem of getting through one light only to get caught in another, blocks away. The system will be so smart, it will let other traffic lights down the road know to stay green so you don't get trapped in that gridlock.

Controlling the system can be done remotely. Pasco can even make snap changes if traffic patterns change.

Winder said, "If there was no traffic that would be great, if I was the only one on the road but that's not ever going to happen so."

Pasco predicts traffic will only get worse as our population grows and they're getting ready for it.

Money for the lights will come from city and state funds. Plans will be finalized in the coming months and work should start in the spring.