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FAQ

What is Lexington’s role in regards to cable TV?
Why can’t subscribers pay for channels they want?
Why is there no cable competition in Lexington?
What is the Federal and/or State role in regulating cable?
What kind of complaints is Lexington unable to handle?
When will the leaf collection program start?
What does that arrow signal mean?
How can I download a street map of the zones?
The leaf collection crew will not be in my neighborhood for a couple of weeks and I really want my leaves removed. Is there anything I can do?
Won’t speed bumps slow traffic on our street?
Purpose, Usage, and Safety Benefits of Flashing Yellow Arrows
Won’t a “CHILDREN AT PLAY” sign help protect our kids?
Why can’t we have a 4-way stop to reduce accidents?
Why aren’t there pedestrian signals at all intersections?
Why aren’t there stripes on some roads?
Does the pedestrian signal work ? There isn't enough time to cross.
Is the video from the traffic cameras recorded ?
What are the traffic cameras at intersections used for ?
Won’t a traffic signal reduce accidents at our intersection?
How do I get a signal installed or removed ?
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Q: What is Lexington’s role in regards to cable TV?
A:

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (“Lexington”) administers the franchise for cable television within Fayette County. This includes enforcing all provisions of the cable company's franchise agreement with Lexington, such as:

• Customer service
• Assisting in the resolution of billing disputes and complaints
• Company's use of the public right-of-way
• Provision of the Public, Education, and Government access channels

Time Warner Cable is currently the only cable television provider in Fayette County.

Q: Why can’t subscribers pay for channels they want?
A:
This is the type of issue which would need to be addressed by the federal government. Congress has debated this issue for some time and although some bills have been proposed to address this issue, none have become law. Also, some program providers require contracts of cable providers to carry all of their channels and will not provide them on a per channel basis.
Q: Why is there no cable competition in Lexington?
A:
Although Lexington’s cable franchise agreement is not exclusive, most communities have only one cable company serving their area (due in large part to the expense of building cable systems and cable company consolidation).  However, over the years Lexington has sought out companies to provide competition. A national trend of telephone companies offering video services has been growing. At some point they may offer services in Lexington.
Q: What is the Federal and/or State role in regulating cable?
A:
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is responsible for enforcing a variety of cable television regulations including: indecency and obscenity, commercial limits for children’s programming, cable home wiring issues, equipment compatibility and signal leakage from cable systems. The Public Service Commission for the Commonwealth of Kentucky does not currently regulate cable service.
Q: What kind of complaints is Lexington unable to handle?
A:
There are a number of complaints that cannot be resolved by Lexington. Those matters include lack of competition, and channel lineups. Additionally, Lexington has no legal authority over Time Warner’s Internet and phone service but can assist in resolving problems with those services.
Q: When will the leaf collection program start?
A:
The Leaf Collection Program will begin on Monday, November 18, and will continue through Friday,
January 3, 2014.
Q: What does that arrow signal mean?
A:

At many traffic signal locations, arrow signals are used to control one or more vehicle movements. These arrows differ from circular (ball) indications in their meaning, and therefore their use.

Arrow signal displays indicate that the movement in the direction of the arrow is “protected” from all other conflicting movements at the intersection. Therefore when a driver makes a left turn under the control of a left green arrow, all opposing traffic (vehicular and pedestrian) will be controlled with red or DON’T WALK signal indications.

The decision to use arrow signals at a particular location is based on traffic flows and safety considerations. If a location carries lower volumes of traffic and turns can be made safely under a “permissive” condition, circular signals will be used. In these less busy locations and at busy intersections under lower traffic demands, circular indication will result in less overall vehicle delays. When traffic increases and the amount of opposing traffic does not allow safe permissive turns, a “protected” condition may be needed. These protected movements are controlled through the use of arrow signals to enhance safety.

The differences in meaning of circular and arrow signals are discussed below.

Green Indications: A green ball signal indicates permission to proceed through the intersection as indicated but yielding to opposing traffic. A green arrow signal indicates that the movement in the direction of the arrow is allowed and protected from opposing traffic.

Yellow Indications: Yellow ball and arrow displays indicate that the movement allowed under the preceding green is ending. This is called the “clearance interval.” Vehicles should clear the intersection under the yellow.

Red Indications: A red ball or left-turn arrow signal indicates a stop condition. Vehicles are not allowed to enter the intersection except to make a “right turn on red” movement (or, left turn from a one-way street onto another one-way street).

Q: How can I download a street map of the zones?
A:
A map is available here.
Q: The leaf collection crew will not be in my neighborhood for a couple of weeks and I really want my leaves removed. Is there anything I can do?
A:
There are several options available to you. Residents have the option of utilizing their Lenny yard
waste container or the 30-gallon paper yard waste bags which are available at a variety of
local retail stores. The bags are free for those who live in the Urban Services Area.
Qualifying residents should have recently received coupons in the mail. Those who did not
receive them or who need more can call LexCall at 311. The Lenny cart and the yard waste
bags will be picked-up on the homeowner’s regularly scheduled pick-up day. Individuals
can also take leaves to the Haley Pike composting facility free of charge. There is a limit of
two pick-up truck loads per month. Additionally, some residents may also make a compost bin in
their yard where they turn their yard waste and kitchen scraps into a soil nutrient for their own lawns. Our best recommendation is mowing your lawn weekly with a mulching mower so you can put nutrients back into your lawn.
Q: Won’t speed bumps slow traffic on our street?
A:

The Urban County Government and the State are responsible for designing, building and maintaining safe roadways throughout Fayette County. This means the provision of a smooth traveled way, void of abrupt discontinuities. If we were to allow the construction of a speed bump on our roads, we would be creating a point of discontinuity which could lead to accidents, and liability.

The speed bump is an increased hazard to the unwary…a challenge to the daredevil…a disruption to the movement of emergency vehicles…a winter snow plow hazard…and the cause of an undesirable increase in noise.

Courts have held public agencies liable for personal injuries resulting from faulty design. Speed bumps have considerable potential for personal liability suits, therefore many jurisdictions, including Lexington, have rejected them as a standard traffic control device on public streets.

Do they work to slow traffic? NO. Tests of various experimental designs have demonstrated the physical inability of a speed bump to successfully control all types of passenger vehicle speeds. An overly high bump can cause damage to the undercarriage of a low riding vehicle. A smoother bump may cause an uncontrollable rocking on a smaller vehicle. Some drivers may actually increase speed for a better ride of a bump, while the same bump may cause other motorists to lose control. No single type of speed bump has been found to be successful in safely controlling the speed of all types of passenger vehicles.

The control of speeding in residential neighborhoods is a widespread concern which requires persistent law enforcement efforts, not speed bumps.

NOTE:  Speed bumps vs speed humps.
1.  Speed humps are gradual changes in the roadway surface usually 12-14 feet long and 4 inches high, and can be effective on local residential streets but are not recommended for higher capacity roadways.  They generally slow cars to 10-20 mph.
2.  Speed bumps are more aggressive.  They are taller, shorter in length, and placed primarily in parking lots.  They generally slow cars to 5-10 mph.

Q: Purpose, Usage, and Safety Benefits of Flashing Yellow Arrows
A:
a)  The Purpose is to provide a left turn phase that operates independently from the adjoining thru lanes of travel.  Unlike the 5-section signal head (green arrow/green ball) that used to share the same housing, the FYA can flash yellow and permit left turns while the adjacent thru lane remains red.

b)  Usage is becoming universal throughout the city, state, and country as the benefits to safety and efficiency are documented and pronounced as opposed to the antiquated 5-section heads they are replacing.

c) The Safety of the travelling public is enhanced by providing a signal head immediately over each lane of travel, so motorists can more readily determine which movement is permitted.  As opposed to the 5-section signal head, the FYA provides an additional 3-second delay following the completion of the green/yellow/red arrow sequence prior to starting a flashing indication.
Q: Won’t a “CHILDREN AT PLAY” sign help protect our kids?
A:

At first consideration it might seem that this sign would provide protection for youngsters playing in a neighborhood. It doesn’t.

Studies made in cities where such signs were widely posted in residential areas, show no evidence of having reduced pedestrian accidents, vehicle speed, or legal liability. In fact, many types of signs which were installed to warn of normal conditions in residential areas failed to achieve the desired safety benefits. Further, if signs encourage parents with children to believe they have an added degree of protection, which the signs do not and cannot provide, a great disservice results.

Children should not be encouraged to play in or near the roadway. The “CHILDREN AT PLAY” sign is a direct and open suggestion that it is acceptable to do so. Even at very low speeds, in a vehicle / pedestrian accident, the pedestrian loses. It is much more appropriate to teach children to respect moving vehicles, and how to be a safe pedestrian (walk facing traffic, look all ways before crossing the street, etc.)

In addition, Federal and State signing regulations do not allow us to use the “CHILDREN AT PLAY” sign. We are allowed to post signs for schools, playgrounds, parks and other recreational facilities, but only when those using these facilities will likely impact drivers on adjacent roads.

Q: Why can’t we have a 4-way stop to reduce accidents?
A:

Many people believe that installing STOP signs on all approaches to an intersection will result in fewer accidents. This is not always the case. Although the accident severity may be lessened, such installations cause additional driver delay for those on the main street resulting in higher vehicle operating costs and driver frustration caused by additional stopping times. There is no real evidence to indicate that STOP signs decrease the overall speed of traffic. Impatient drivers view the additional delay caused by unwarranted STOP signs as “lost time” to be made up by driving at higher speeds between STOP signs. Unwarranted STOP signs breed disrespect by motorists who tend to ignore them or slow down without stopping. This can sometimes lead to tragic consequences.

Federal and State regulations require the installation of all traffic control devices, including STOP signs, to follow the guidelines in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD is published by the U. S. Department of Transportation and is the national standard for Traffic Control Devices.

A multi-way stop condition may be installed if it meets at least one of the warrants as defined in the MUTCD.
Q: Why aren’t there pedestrian signals at all intersections?
A:

Pedestrian signals are installed to assist a person on foot to safely navigate across a busy street. At locations with lower traffic volumes, pedestrians can take their cues from the adjacent traffic and the vehicle signals. As intersections become more congested, separate signal indications are installed to aid pedestrians. Due to their operation being different than vehicle signals, pedestrian signals generate many questions.

Pedestrian signals are installed for two primary reasons: a high volume of foot traffic at an intersection, or, where the vehicle signals aren’t readily visible to pedestrians. For example, some intersections are laid out in such a way that the vehicle signals can’t be seen by pedestrians. In other cases, turning and merging traffic make intersections so complex that special provisions must be made for the safety of pedestrians.

Separate pedestrian signals aren’t needed everywhere. Traffic signals without separate pedestrian signals are timed in such a way to provide adequate time for a pedestrian to cross with the vehicles. In other instances, to do so would hinder the flow of traffic and not greatly enhance pedestrian safety. In these instances, separate pedestrian signals are provided. It is generally the policy to install pedestrian signals at all signalized locations where such actions would increase pedestrian safety.

Traffic engineers worldwide are moving toward the use of symbol signs in place of words because they are easier for people to quickly comprehend, and can be recognized by people who can’t read English. Pedestrian symbols are in a state of transition and therefore may be encountered with either word or symbol indications.

Q: Why aren’t there stripes on some roads?
A:

The city and state share the responsibility for pavement marking (striping) installation and maintenance in Fayette County. Traffic Engineers for these agencies are responsible for determining where these markings are placed and in what configuration.

Pavement markings are installed to guide, instruct, and/or warn motorists of the roadway and surrounding environment. Striping design is governed by the U.S. Department of Transportation publication titled, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The State of Kentucky and Lexington have adopted these standards. These standards strive to provide pavement marking consistency so that drivers can react safely during driving conditions. The Division of Traffic Engineering makes every effort to stripe only those streets where it is needed to convey an important message to the driver. This allows the division to concentrate its limited resources on striping where it is needed most.

Typically, local residential streets are not striped. Exceptions to this can occur when a traffic engineering study indicates that a situation exists that would not normally be anticipated by the motorist (e.g.: severe curves or hills, school crosswalks, congested areas). In these instances, centerline striping is usually installed. Most commercial / business streets and major roadways are striped.

Q: Does the pedestrian signal work ? There isn't enough time to cross.
A:
The Walk signal is usually not long enough for someone to cross the street.  The flashing Don't Walk (flashing red hand) provides enough time for pedestrians to finish crossing.
Q: Is the video from the traffic cameras recorded ?
A:
The video is not recorded or saved in any way.  The traffic cameras are used only to monitor traffic conditions.
Q: What are the traffic cameras at intersections used for ?
A:
Some cameras are used to detect traffic and tell the signal controller when vehicles are waiting for the light.  Other cameras are used by the Traffic Management Center staff to monitor traffic conditions.
Q: Won’t a traffic signal reduce accidents at our intersection?
A:

Traffic signals don’t always prevent accidents. In many instances, the total number of accidents and injuries increase after signals are installed.
Traffic signals usually result in a reduction in the number of right-angle accidents. However, where signals are used unnecessarily, an increase in total accidents (especially rear-end collisions), will usually occur.  In addition, pedestrians are often lulled into a false sense of security by inappropriate signal installations, thus becoming more likely to be involved in an accident.
In deciding whether a traffic signal will be an asset and not a liability, traffic engineers evaluate the following:

a)  Does the number of vehicles on intersecting streets create confusion and/or congestion ?
b)  Is traffic on the main street so heavy that drivers on the side street try to cross when it's unsafe ?  Are there accidents that have resulted from this condition ?
c)  Have less restrictive traffic controls (eg, STOP signs) been tried and found to not adequately address the situation ?
d)  Does the number of pedestrians trying to cross a busy main street create confusion, congestion, and/or hazardous conditions ?
e)  Will installation of a signal allow for continuous, uniform traffic flow with a minimum number of vehicle stops, thereby reducing overall congestion ?
f)  Does the accident history of an intersection indicate that a signal will reduce the number of accidents ?

Traffic engineers compare the existing conditions against nationally accepted standards.  These standards have been established after many years of study throughout the country and are contained in the U.S. Department of Transportation publication titled Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, or MUTCD.

At intersections where these standards are met, traffic signals generally operate effectively with good public compliance.  Where standards are not met, compliance is generally reduced, resulting in additional driver hazards.

An unnecessary traffic signal will result in increased delays and can be a source of danger and annoyance to all who use the intersection (pedestrians, cyclists, drivers), while a properly placed signal can decrease accidents and improve traffic flow.

Q: How do I get a signal installed or removed ?
A:
Decisions regarding signal installations are based on criteria established by a federal publication titled Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, or MUTCD, published by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Traffic Engineering staff evaluate potential locations to determine if traffic conditions meet the criteria.
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