What Drives You Crazy? Malfunctioning traffic light at Cahaba River Road and Acton Road

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The traffic light at Acton and Cahaba River Road adds to the traffic congestion during and not during rush hour. Michael Brewer sent me this e-mail about the issue.

“The signal at Acton Road/Cahaba River Road is in significant distress, becoming dangerous at this point. There are more malfunctions going on with that signal than I can identify and list. It has been in bad shape for a long time. While we have many, many malfunctioning signals all around Birmingham, that one is the very worst one that I know of. It has never really worked right (even after the control unit was replaced several years ago) and it has exhibited pretty-much every problem a traffic signal could possibly suffer over the years.

I mention it now because last night it would not turn green for the Acton Road traffic. This is a new problem. It was stuck with a green ball/green arrow for the northbound side of Cahaba River Road. People were giving up and running the light in this high-traffic area.

Also, on Colonnade Parkway, the light where you turn into the new APCO building is malfunctioning – ever since they tore up the loops during construction.

Also, the light where you come off 280 onto Colonnade Parkway is malfunctioning. That is disappointing because that was such a perfectly-performing signal for the first few years it was there. Something went wrong and it has not been responding properly to the traffic for years now.

Also, the road surface on Colonnade Parkway is in REALLY bad condition and has been for many years. Is the city mad at the Colonnade? I don’t believe that road has had any serious attention since the Colonnade was built over 20 years ago. Don’t the many businesses in the Colonnade pay enough in taxes to deserve some attention besides just hasty patches on top of hasty patches from time to time.”

Brewer said in our interview, people have started just running the light altogether, which is asking for accidents.

“The other night I was coming home and the light would not turn green for people on this side, so people were actually giving up and running the light,” Brewer said. “I thought ok this is getting dangerous now. I’m going to talk to the city about it again.”

After Michael reached out to me, I called the city of Birmingham. Mayor Randall Woodfin’s secretary assistant Daniel Deriso forwarded my request for assistance to the necessary people. A senior technician for the city went out to the problem site. Below you can read the cities response and solution for this area.

The City of Birmingham’s Traffic Engineering Department dispatched a Senior Traffic Control Technician team this morning in response to concerns about two malfunctioning lights near Highway 280. First, the technician team observed traffic flow and light timing functions at the intersection of Cahaba Road and Colonnade Parkway. They did not find any issues with this intersection.

Next, the light at the intersection of Acton Road and Cahaba River Road will see the installation of a three-second delay as well as video detection to the far left lane of the recently restriped Colonnade Parkway. These additions are expected to improve traffic flow to that intersection.

Please note that all traffic lights on Highway 280 are controlled by the Alabama Department of Transportation. All complaints about light timing or detection directly on Highway 280 should be directed to the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Public safety is a high priority for the City of Birmingham.”

If the problem still persists, let me know via e-mail. Also, send in any other requests of What Drives You Crazy to Rachel.Lundberg@wiat.com or Reportit@wiat.com.

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