Question: "Whats the longest traffic signal in Tacoma? My guess its the one at Sixth and Sprague and Division. I turned off my car and ate my lunch there while waiting this week." Chris, Tacoma
Answer: Thats a good guess. Because traffic from five directions intersects there, wait times are longer than usual.
But its not Tacomas longest.
According to Joe Nollan, senior signal/lighting electrician with the citys engineering division, that honor goes to the intersection at South 38th and South Steele streets. (Think the old Borders store and Lincoln Plaza, just off Interstate 5.)
If youre unlucky enough to just miss the left-turn signal on eastbound 38th, youll wait 3 minutes and 45 seconds for the green arrow to reappear.
At Sixth and Division, where you had lunch, if youre westbound and miss the left-turn green, youll wait 3 minutes and 25 seconds.
Third-longest wait in the city, Nollan says, is at 72nd Street and Pacific Avenue. If you miss the northbound left-turn green there, youll wait 2 minutes and 50 seconds.
All of those are worst-case waits, Nollan says. Automatic traffic controllers speed things up when traffic is lighter.