NewsProblem Solvers


Broken light at busy Tulsa intersection frustrates drivers

Posted at 6:00 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 14:48:12-04

TULSA, Okla. — During the past few rainy days, drivers at the intersection of 51st and Memorial have seen red, too much flashing red.

Patience wearing thin, drivers were honking their horns, hitting the gas, and gunning their engines.

"I've seen a lot of craziness out there right now," Laura Bales said.

Bales told 2 News the traffic lights at the intersection had been flashing red in all directions since the end of last week.

Flashing red means a four-way stop, backing up traffic, especially during the rush hours during the morning, noon and night, even on Sunday.

"It's ridiculous. I'm having to drive a mile out of my way now just to avoid that backlog," Bales said.

But she's not alone. The Problem Solvers received other calls and emails complaining of "accidents waiting to happen" and "people fending for themselves," and "confusion over how to handle a four-way stop."

Bales and others said they've reported those traffic lights.

"Then I drive back again this morning, and it's still flashing," Bales said.

After receiving those complaints, we got in touch with the city. Officials told 2 News repair crews have been dealing with power issues for several days at this intersection, causing the lights not to work. But officials said they'd have the lights working by the end of Wednesday.

And as promised, city crews were at 51st and Memorial this Wednesday morning making the necessary repairs. The traffic lights are now working properly.

"It'll be nice. I can get back to normal," Bales said.

She's looking forward to a normal drive, one where drivers not only see red, but yellow and green, too.

2 News looked into why it took several days to get the traffic lights operable again. The city said there were power issues at 51st and Memorial that needed to be addressed by the Public Service Company of Oklahoma.

PSO had to replace some lines, and the city then replaced some of the equipment it was responsible for. It took a while to diagnose the power problems at that intersection since it started as an intermittent issue. The city used a generator Wednesday to keep the intersection in operation while permanent repairs were made.

For tips on how to navigate at four-way stop intersections, click here.

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