What's Almost 4 Feet Tall, Never Sleeps, and Stops Traffic?
Where would we be without them? It's not pleasant to think about.
The signals keep cars, SUVs, and trucks moving in orderly fashion. There are 565 signalized intersections in unincorporated Hillsborough County.
Here are things you might not know about the ubiquitous devices that hang over crossroads and perch atop roadside poles:
How tall are typical traffic signals?
About 3½ feet, though they look much smaller from a distance, behind a windshield.
How much do they weigh?
An average aluminum traffic signal is about 37 pounds. Fortunately, it's unlikely you'll drop one on your foot.
What does an overhead traffic signal cost?
Equipping an intersection with red, yellow, and green signals facing all directions costs $250,000 to $400,000. That's roughly equal to nine to 14 brand new pickup trucks.
Some more insights:
Thirty to 40 traffic signals in unincorporated Hillsborough County have solar backups, in case of power failures. Under solar power, the lights flash red in all directions to make drivers aware the signals are not operating normally.
Traffic signals in unincorporated Hillsborough County are illuminated by LED lights, which draw less power than their predecessors, 135-watt incandescent bulbs. Retrofitting traffic and pedestrian signals with LED lights saves the County hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
LED lights generally last seven to 10 years. Incandescent bulbs lasted about 18 months.
You can report a malfunctioning traffic signal, pothole, missing roadway sign, or other traffic concern either online or by calling (813) 635-5400.