Traffic Signals, Signs and Street Lights
Public Works operates and maintains all the traffic
signals, traffic control road signs, street name signs and streetlights for
city-owned intersections and roadways. When new signals, signs or streetlights
are needed or requested, the City’s Engineering and Construction Division
evaluates the situation, then determines the appropriate course of action.
The primary objective is to maximize the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and
vehicle drivers that live adjacent to and/or travel on Redwood City’s
Some streets such as El Camino Real and Woodside Road that run through the
city’s boundaries, are actually owned by Caltrans.
These streets, as well as the 101 over-crossings are operated and maintained
Cycles – Timed vs. Detection
Most traffic signals can be set to a timed or detection mode. Many signals
actually operate in both modes, but at different times of the day. Whether
a signal is set for timed or detection, is determined by traffic flow conditions.
Timed mode is usually applied during “rush hour” to maximize
the efficiency of vehicular movement through the intersection. In this mode,
the signal is set to display
“green” for a pre-determined period of time in each direction.
In detection mode, a vehicle approaching an intersection will trigger the traffic
signal controller to provide a green light for the vehicle’s direction
of travel. After the vehicle has proceeded through the intersection, the signal
will either remain green for that direction of travel until a vehicle from
different direction triggers the detector or revert back to a "resting" phase,
where the signal is green in the most traveled direction.
modes of traffic signal operation are affected when a pedestrian pushes the
pedestrian crossing button. Pushing the button overrides the signal functions
and allows a dedicated amount of time for the pedestrian to cross the intersection
based on the distance across the intersection. This is usually set to a minimum
of 4 feet per second.