Traffic Signals

Reporting an Issue
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) owns and maintains the closed loop systems as well as the other isolated traffic signals in Apex with the exception of the emergency signal on NC 55 at Public Safety Station No. 4. However, the Town of Apex Transportation Engineer receives complaints and works cooperatively with NCDOT to address issues at all signals when possible. 

Complaints may also be directed to the NCDOT Division 5 Office at 919-220-4600. For signals operated within the Town of Cary system complaints may be directed to the Town of Cary Traffic Signal System Supervisor at 919-460-3148.

The town may provide improvements to signalized intersections including turn lanes, new or modified signal heads, emergency vehicle priority, and pedestrian accessibility upgrades. Developers may also add or upgrade traffic signals as part of development projects when required. Improvements are subject to NCDOT approval and require an approved traffic signal plan. Traffic signal plans typically take 3 to 6 months depending on the scope of the project.

New Signals
Any intersection of 2 roads where at least 1 of the roads is a state controlled road cannot have a traffic signal until the North Carolina Department of Transportation finds that the signal is warranted. Warrants for signalization include thresholds for traffic volumes, number and severity of traffic accidents, and pedestrian volumes. 

Additional development may require a traffic signal to be installed and often turn lanes are required to be built as part of the development approval process. The town has also allocated funds for upcoming intersection improvements with transportation bond funds.

Traffic signals are traffic control devices, not traffic safety devices. In some cases, installation of a new traffic signal or changes to an existing signal may actually result in an increase in crashes although it may change the types of crashes occurring most often. Traffic signals are primarily intended to reduce delays for high volumes of traffic on conflicting approaches over extended periods of time that could not otherwise be handled by stop signs.

Signal Systems

There are 3 “closed loop” coordinated traffic signal systems in Apex:
  • NC 55
  • Central Business District (CBD)
  • Ten Ten Road
There are different locations that are part of the Town of Cary's centralized signal system, which include:
  • Laura Duncan Road on US 64
  • Lake Pine Drive on US 64
  • NC 55/Jenks Road
  • Old Apex Road/Laura Duncan Road
Other locations in Apex are isolated (or uncoordinated). The Traffic Signals and Systems Map (PDF) displays locations for traffic signals within and bordering Apex by identification number and signal system to which they are assigned, if assigned to a system.

Traffic Signal Preemption
The Town of Apex maintains preemption equipment at select locations to prioritize emergency vehicles. Opticom infrared sensors are located on westbound Hunter Street at NC 55 and on westbound Olive Chapel Road at Apex Peakway to assist emergency response heading west.

A push button is located in the fire station on North Salem Street to assist emergency response northbound on North Salem Street at Center Street. A dedicated emergency signal linked to a push button is located at the public safety station on NC 55 between Technology Drive and Lufkin Road to assist fire trucks and ambulances exiting the station onto NC 55.

All of these give a green light to the prioritized movement as intended to aid emergency response efforts. Additional locations may be added in the future.