SPRINGFIELD, Mo. If you are one the thousands of drivers on the roads in Springfield this holiday season, there's no doubt you've been stuck in traffic. Crews say they are constantly working to keep you moving.
"We know there's an increase in traffic during the holidays. People like to shop," said Marc Lewis with the Traffic Management Center of the Ozarks.
This is the time of year when the Missouri Department of Transportation puts their holiday traffic plan in motion. Crews change the timing of the traffic lights around town to keep the flow of vehicles moving.
"Previous we did it around Black Friday and toward the end of November. We just backed it up a couple weeks to the beginning of November," he said.
This is because there are more cars on the roads of Springfield than ever before.
"On Battlefield and Glenstone, Campbell and National, we've modified our signal timing to help with that additional congestion," he said.
New systems were installed just a few months ago to help.
"We have some technology to get traffic volumes at almost real time," Lewis said.
Cell phone data and sensors at intersections around town help monitor congestion.
If backups are detected changes to the timing of signal lights can be made immediately.
"We don't have to visit the traffic signals or the cabinets. It's all from here in the office," he explained.
You can also do your part to keep moving.
"When you see that white stop bar stop at it. Don't go past it. Make sure you get up to it. If you're over it the sensors can't see you," Lewis said.
Crews are now fully staffed to get you where you need to go this holiday season.
"We are now seven days a week operations, 7am to 6pm except for state holidays. We're prepared for anything that happens," he said.
The change to the signal light timing will last until the end of the year.
MoDOT also works with City Utility crews to make sure signal lights are working properly and to clear up any accidents as soon as possible.