Proposed Removal of I-44 Traffic Light Spurs Debate
When I moved to Lawton three years ago, one of the first things that struck me, and one of the first of "those" questions I asked was that of the necessity of the three stops-lights of the intersection of Gore Blvd. and the I-44. Soon, that may no longer be a question, if some city council members have their way.
There is currently a proposal in front of the Lawton City Council that will remove one of the three traffic light on East Gore Blvd, at and just past the I-44 on ramps. But this proposal is bringing mixed reactions from council members. This is not the first time the proposal has been brought before the city's Traffic Commission, including twice in the last few months of 2016.
At question is the third light as you are traveling east bound on Gore, at the corner of Gore and Lawrie Tatum Road, which ends into the parking lot of the Comanche Nation Casino and Best Western Hotel. The main complaint from most Lawton commuters is that this light seems to work in opposition to the other two lights that control the traffic flow onto and off of I-44.
Councilman Jay Burk is spearheading the current campaign to remove the third light, introducing the current proposal to the Traffic Commission. The third light is the target in seeing that while the city is responsible for all three signals, they would need to get approval for the State Department of Transportation to remove the two lights that control traffic in regards to the Interstate.
City traffic commissioners met on Thursday to debate the proposal. They came away with a recommendation to attempt to make adjustments on the three lights to attempt to better sync the lights' timing, before making a recommendation to move the signal light. Previous attempts to sync the light have met with mixed results, but public works officials feel that there are further adjustments to the timing could get the lights working together, instead of working against the flow of traffic, especially during peak hours. The city is planning on using the services of a traffic engineering firm to calculate traffic flow at the intersections.
The Traffic Commission tabled the proposal to give the City Works department more time to work on the lights timing, voting to postpone the decision on Councilman Burk's proposal until next month.