Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee is promising most of traffic lights in the city will soon be synchronized, but city staff aren't sure the mayor's promise can become reality.


Mayor Clifford Lee says a traffic consultant has already been hired. ((CBC))

Lee, who is up for re-election Nov. 1, told CBC News last week getting the city's traffic lights to work together will bring major improvements to traffic flow.

"We have already engaged the services of a traffic engineer to come in and evaluate the traffic light systems at all the intersections in the city — I think there are 32 different sets of traffic lights in the city — they've come back with some recommendations," said Lee.

For example, all the lights on University Avenue from Belvedere through to the Charlottetown Mall will be synchronized. The traffic engineer also recommended immediate changes to improve the flow of traffic on North River Road.

But city public works manager Paul Johnston questions just how effective traffic light synchronization can be when you are dealing with two-way streets.

"Synchronizing is a great word to say — there's a lot involved," said Johnston.

"Are you co-ordinating them for the in-bound traffic or the outbound traffic? We will look at the lights and we will try to co-ordinate them as best as possible but to say they are synchronized so that if I hit one green light I will hit every green light, just doesn't work."

Lee said motorists will see a change very soon that will make it easier to get around the city at night. He plans to have the Public Works department switch the lights over so they are flashing.

Lee said that change should be seen within the next month.