Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Traffic Backups at New Light

The following is an ‘Ask The Mayor’ question submitted to TLS, and the Mayor’s response. Email your questions for the Mayor to [email protected].


Dear Mayor,

I’m writing about the new traffic light on James and Williams. Although very much needed, the light has resulted in terrible traffic backups on James Street. After sitting in this backlog several times, the reason has become clear to me. The traffic light seems to be covering 2 intersections for the price of 1. Cars coming down James Street are unable to make a right on red onto Williams Street because the red light has them stopping all the way back by Railroad St. I believe that preventing cars from making this right on red, coupled with the overly large empty intersection, is causing the backups. Is there any way this can be fixed?

Thank you!

Response from Mayor Coles:

Good morning,

We have alerted the county about this issue and asked them to correct the configuration & timing of the light.




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  1. The second light was a cute idea but totally unnecessary. I assume unlike the author, it had something to do with cars getting stuck on the tracks while it is red. It would’ve been nice to work out that the light turns green at Williams when the train comes thereby clearing out any cars waiting on the tracks, which would eliminate the need for the light at the railroad. But being that the officials are apparently scared of asking anything from this railroad company (as we’ve seen in the past when there have been complaints..) how about putting a turning arrow on the railroad light and allow any car that plans on making a right onto Williams to continue past the light? I can’t imagine the light was for rilroad street as the author suggested..

  2. i live around here. Thank you for writing this letter. That 2nd traffic light right before the railroad tracks is causing major unnecessary delays throughout the entire area! Hopefully the county and their engineers will come back and reassess and make the proper adjustments.

  3. I live there too. Its a disaster. Causing major backups on all streets hitting james. Sunset, freedom…. its impossible to make a left turn onto james as traffic is always backed up. Once traffic starts moving, all the cars making the illegal left turn onto james from railroad start coming and its impossible to get out. The light at railroad is the problem and should be blinking yellow except when a train is approaching.

  4. Oh yes, it’s a disaster beyond! The funny part is that since this disastrous light by railroad came up, its always crazy traffic from cross till railroad and empty from railroad till the 9

    • requiring every car to stop and then continue is unnecessary, in my humble opinion. How often does the train come by already?! Plus, this is no fast speed bullet train coming through, rather a slow old freight train chugging through with all that wood. The tracks are actually much safer than the roads in lakewood, just look at the statistics. The light should always be green and change to red only when the train is passing through!

  5. cant wait for this cute little traffic light to soon be like the traffic light at 1st and Clifton. I did read that there is a shortage of Traffic Signal Design Engineers, unfortunately. Also it’s recommended they assess the road during normal business hours, not on an off day!

  6. Tomorrow all schools start. The traffic will be absolutely disastrous!!
    This affects James, Sunset, Central…
    Please get this done ASAP as this should have been thought through and dealt with before the beginning of the school year!

  7. That second traffic light at Railroad clearly must come down ASAP. No other fixes will help unless they take down that second traffic light. James gets backed up all the way to Drake because of it and Sunset too gets backed up a lot.

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