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City of Bryan, Texas



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Traffic Signals and Roadway Design

Traffic Operations continually evaluates each current and proposed signalized intersection to determine the safest and most efficient mode of operation based on standards specified by the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (TxMUTCD).

Major corridors within the city operate under coordination. Coordinated traffic signals are programmed in such a way that a full platoon of motorists should be able to travel the full length of the corridor without stopping. This coordination can be interrupted by emergency vehicle preemption for fire or police, or when a side street sees an inordinate amount of traffic and utilizes all of its available green light time.

Traffic signal timing plans are under frequent review and can be changed either in the field or remotely by staff members.

Traffic signal issues

During normal business hours

Call 979.209.5900

Report a traffic signal outage during normal business hours (7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.), or report a concern regarding signal timing.

After hours

Call 979.822.3777

Call the 24-hour Outage/Emergency Hotline to report a signal outage outside of normal business hours.

For Developers: View Standard Traffic Construction Details and Specifications

Arrows, timing, and traffic cameras

Why do some traffic signals have a flashing yellow arrow instead of a solid green ball for a left turn? What is the difference?

A solid green ball for a left turn lane denotes a permissive movement that may encounter opposing traffic. When a left turn signal displays a green ball, motorists should wait for an opening in opposing traffic prior to making their left turn. Unless the left turn signal displays a green arrow, the left turn movement is not protected and motorists should wait to proceed through the intersection. The solid green ball is no longer the national standard and is being phased out in favor of flashing yellow arrows.

The Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) left-turn display is the new nationwide standard for traffic signal operation. All cities are required to build new traffic signals with the FYA display and to eventually upgrade their existing traffic signals to have the FYA display. A flashing yellow arrow denotes the same situation as the solid green ball, a permissive left turn movement that requires motorists to wait for an opening in opposing traffic prior to making their left turn movement.

Why do I have to wait so long for a green light on a side street?

When programming the timing of a traffic signal, the first step is to decide on a cycle length. This cycle length is the amount of time it takes for all approaches of the signal to be serviced before beginning a new cycle. It is common practice to give the most amount of time in this cycle to the primary roadway which contains the higher volume of traffic. This practice minimizes stops and delays for the majority of motorists utilizing the intersection which improves air quality, and reduces congestion on major corridors.

The cycle length is also a key component in traffic signal coordination on major corridors. Once a cycle length is decided, that same cycle length in seconds is programmed into every signal on the major corridor. The beginning of the cycle at each signal on a corridor is then staggered to allow motorists to travel the full length of the corridor without stopping. If you are waiting on a side street at an intersection with a major corridor and no vehicles are currently crossing the intersection but the light is not changing to the side street, this is because the primary roadway has not used all of its allotted time within the cycle.

The wait on a minor street will always be less than two minutes during normal traffic signal operation.

Can you change the traffic signals to operate in flashing mode during the late-night hours?

Operating traffic signals in flash at night is an option, but the City of Bryan has chosen to operate our traffic signals in “Free” mode at night instead. When operating in “Free” mode, a traffic signal will remain green on the primary roadway until a vehicle is detected on the minor street. It will then quickly switch over to the minor street and clear out waiting vehicles before returning to the primary roadway. “Free” operation begins at most signals within the city at 10:30 p.m.

How are the yellow and all-red clearance times calculated for a traffic signal?

Yellow time is calculated using a nationwide standardized equation based on the speed of traffic on the roadway. The City of Bryan’s standard for all-yellow time is four seconds.

The all-red time is also calculated using a nationwide standardized equation for a given speed. The City of Bryan’s standard for all-red time is two seconds.

Does the City of Bryan record any of the video from its traffic cameras?

Yes, the City of Bryan Police Department records video at select intersections that are equipped with the correct camera modules. This video is recorded and rewritten on a rolling 72 hour schedule. If a recording is not recovered within exactly three days of it happening it will be overwritten and lost. An open records request through the city secretary’s office will be required to acquire a saved recording.

Crosswalks and pedestrian signals

Is it necessary for me to push a button to activate the pedestrian signal?

Yes, pushing the pedestrian button tells the traffic signal you are there so it can provide a “walk” indication. If you don’t activate the pedestrian signal, the traffic signal may not change or it may not provide enough time for you to cross the street.

Why does the orange hand flash before I’ve completed crossing the street?

The white walk symbol is displayed to allow pedestrians to enter the crosswalk. After a certain amount of time, the flashing orange upraised hand appears as a warning to pedestrians who have not yet entered the crosswalk that it is too late to begin crossing the street.

If you are already in the crosswalk, there will be enough time for you to finish crossing the street. In fact, the flashing orange hand is usually accompanied by a number that counts down to show you how much time you have left to cross the street before the traffic signal changes.

New signals and how to request one

How do you decide where and when to install traffic signals?

The installation of traffic signals follows a nationally standardized process that is outlined in the Texas Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (TxMUTCD). There is a set of criteria that must be satisfied before a traffic signal can be installed, most of which are based on traffic volumes. Not every street can be given a traffic signal, so traffic volumes are a large factor in determining which intersections will be signalized.

In addition, traffic signals must be spaced a certain distance apart in order to function well. The intersection of 2 major roadways is always assumed to be a future traffic signal location and then other potential locations must be spaced an appropriate distance away. As other traffic signals are added at minor intersections, it further limits the possible location of additional traffic signals.

Finally, the time frame for the installation of a traffic signal is primarily determined by the funding available. The City of Bryan continues to focus most of the available funding on replacement of existing aged traffic signals. New traffic signals will be considered as part of the City’s Capital Improvement Program.

How do I request a new traffic signal?

Please call 979.209.5900 and ask to speak to the Traffic Engineer. If the intersection in question is eligible for a traffic signal, it will be added to a list of locations for possible study. A traffic signal warrant analysis of the intersection will be performed to determine whether or not a signal is necessary or if a different type of mitigation will suffice. If a signal or other device is warranted, the intersection will be added to the city’s ongoing Capital Improvement Program. Roundabouts are preferred where appropriate as in the long term they are more economical and safer.

It is not possible to install a traffic signal at every intersection for a number of reasons, so a particular intersection may not be eligible for a traffic signal. If it is eligible, it may take years before it reaches the top of the priority list for installation. At any intersection, we recommend that citizens take an alternative route instead of making a maneuver that makes them uncomfortable. Whether an uncontrolled intersection is a candidate for a traffic signal or not, it may be necessary for motorists to take an alternative route during busy times of the day instead of making a left-turn or going straight across an intersection. For example, motorists can turn right and then make a U-turn at another location.

Roadway Design

Bicycles on the roads

State law generally treats a bicycle as a vehicle with the same rights and duties as a car. State law states that a bicyclist can ride down the middle of the lane if the lane is narrower than 14 feet wide. This is not considered “impeding traffic” even on a road with only one lane in each direction. State law also allows bicyclists to ride two abreast in a single lane.

Side-by-side bicyclists are considered to be impeding traffic if they take up two lanes on the roadway, but not if they take up a single lane that is narrower than 14 feet wide. Most roads have lanes that are narrower than 14 feet, but as our major roadways are widened to six lanes, we will provide an outside lane that is 14 feet wide so that bicycles can ride to the right according to state law. Motorists should always ensure that there is a three-foot separation between their car and a bicyclist they are passing.

Bike routes

The green “Bike Route” signs generally show bike riders which roadways are at least two lanes wide in each direction so that a car can use another lane to pass a bicycle that is in the road. These on-street bike routes also connect to other roadways (or sidewalks) to provide interconnectivity with other portions of the off-street trail system.

Speed limits

Speed limitsThe speed limits on major roadways are not set according to any pre-determined plan. Instead, speed limits are determined based on engineering studies (a standardized process that is used nationwide). These studies will sometimes result in different speed limits on different segments of the same roadway if those segments have different characteristics (such as hills, curves, or number of driveways).

Whether a speed limit sign is present or not, state law defines the speed limit on a residential street as 30 miles per hour and the speed limit in a residential alley as 15 miles per hour.


Sidewalks are generally installed when development occurs along a roadway; each developer is responsible for building the stretch of sidewalk along the front of their property. As a result, there will often be gaps in the sidewalk in the more sparsely developed parts of the city. The city is seeking funding from Safe Streets for All, a state-funded grant program dedicated to providing safe conditions for all roadway users, to fill in some of these gaps,as well as, installing sidewalk with all roadway reconstruction and capital improvement projects.