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Traffic FloW
Stoff Writer
Mayoral candidate Joe Graves
called a press conference yesterday to
unveil his plan to connect all the
city's traffic signals to a central com-
puter to ease traffic problems.
He later learned the local govern-
ment already has a limited version of
that idea on the drawing boards, but
said his idea is better.
Gordo11 Garner, commissioner of
sanitation 'and public works, says the
plan now being studied would synchro-
nize 54 downtown traffic lights by the
middle of next year if everything goes
according to plan. The system c;:ould
later be expanded into other areas.
Thp plan has be.en mentioned by
vice mayor Scotty Baesler - also a
candidate for mayor - as one of the
things the government is doing to
solve traffic
"That doesn't change my posi-
tion," Graves said after learning of
the other plan.
Asked Area Residents
He said in his campaign
telephoned some 7,000 local residents
before making t:he proposal " so I've
already involved more citizen input"
Graves also criticizes the plan for
starting the new system downtown
and then spreading out. He cites a
transportation magazine that says
these cities have found that "piece-
meal solutions do not work; in fact
they often
Graves says his plan would adjust
traffic signals for different t raffic
loads at various t imes of the day and
allow emergency vehicles to move
faster by turning lights green as they
approach intersections.
Meanwhile, mayoral candidate
Nick Martin attacked Graves as a
one-issue candidate and said his ad-
ministration would be a "carbon
copy" of Mayor Foster Pettit's.
"Joe is so busy sharpening his
traffic engineering skills that he has
lost sight of other issues that concern
Lexingtonians," says Martin.
Three people involved in Graves
campaign worked in local government
while Pettit has been mayor and Mar-
ti n says that shows why "Mr. Graves
has been understandably unwilling to
criticize any of the policies of his
friend and ally Foster Pettit ... "
Graves says those people worked
for him before getting jobs in local
government and adds "Foster and I
aren' t carbon copies."