Why do I have to wait so long for a green light on a side street?
In general, a traffic signal is programmed to provide more green time to the street that has the most traffic. This minimizes stops and delay for the largest number of cars, which improves air quality and reduces congestion on the major roadways. Therefore, if you are on a side street that has less traffic than the major roadway, you will wait a longer time for a green light.

In addition, traffic signals along a major roadway are coordinated with each other in order to minimize the delay for the largest possible number of cars as they move through the city. When traffic signals are coordinated, each traffic signal must display the green indication to the primary direction of travel during a specific time period (in sequence along the road) so that the largest possible group of cars can proceed through the system with a minimum number of stops. The side street must remain red while the coordinated flow of traffic passes through the intersection along the major roadway (sometimes in both directions).

The wait on a minor street will always be less than 3 minutes during normal traffic signal operation.

Show All Answers

1. Who do I contact to report a problem with a traffic signal?
2. Why do some intersections have flashing yellow arrows? What do they mean?
3. Why do I have to wait so long for a green light on a side street?
4. Can you change the traffic signals to operate in flashing mode during the late night hours?
5. How are the yellow and all-red clearance times calculated for a traffic signal?
6. Is it necessary for me to push a button to activate the pedestrian signal?
7. Why does the orange hand flash before I’ve completed crossing the street?
8. How do you decide where and when to install traffic signals?
9. How do I request a new traffic signal?
10. Does the City of Frisco record any of the video from its traffic cameras?