Bumper to Bumper-Part 1

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

"There's too much traffic on too little roads," says Jeff Moore of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

And the reason there's so much excess traffic on these roads lies within the city's constant expansion.

"Bowling Green and Warren County is one of the fastest growing regions in the state and what we are experiencing on the transportation end is growing pains."

The U.S. Census Bureau says that in the year 2000 alone, Bowling Green had more than 49,000 people inside the city limits; and out of that number, nearly half of them had vehicles out on the road.

Commuting time around the city is clocked at 16 minutes, which is 8 minutes faster than the rest of the state.

But with the surge of new residents as well as visitors from outside the city using the roads, these times have changed dramatically.

"We're seeing a lot of people moving into our area. A lot of people come into our area to day shop, to visit attractions and so on. So our network is starting to feel some growing pains."

Some of those stuck in traffic believe that stoplights that aren't properly synchronized are the reason for the long delays in movement.
But Public Works City Engineer, Jeff Lashlee says the lights really don't have any affect on the traffic situation.

"That really is just a function of the congestion. A traffic light can handle so much traffic. There's a breaking point with a traffic light when it gets so high it can only give a certain amount of time to each approach."

Lashlee notes that there is much work being done by city and state agencies to try to alleviate the massive swelling on Bowling Green roads, but says its not a cut-and-dry situation with a specific solution.

There's quite a few aspects that we look at. The size of the road that is built is a function of the traffic and the projected traffic. Its also a function of budgets and utility conflicts that may be encountered.


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