Traffic Signals

Ground Signs Placed at Intersections

If you see a 'Traffic Signal Planned' sign, that means a traffic signal project has been funded, in some cases through a private development plan, and is likely to be installed within a year or less. 

The actual schedule may be delayed due to property acquisition, utility conflicts, and availability of materials and contract labor. For more detailed information on a particular location, please contact our Traffic Engineer by email or call (919) 372-7448.

Image of sign reading: Traffic Signal Planned Learn more: (919) 372-7448

Who Maintains Traffic Signals?

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) owns and maintains most of the traffic signals in Apex with some exceptions. However, the Town of Apex Traffic Engineer is able to receive requests and will notify NCDOT and/or Town of Cary concerning traffic signal issues at specific locations when needed. Apex does not currently maintain any of the coordinated timing plans for the signal systems since those are either on NCDOT or Town of Cary networks.  

Process for Adding a New Traffic Signal

  • Traffic signal request is received or location is already anticipated for future signalization in a traffic impact analysis / development plan
  • Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices guides decisions
  • Signal warrant study – traffic counts and crash data reviewed to determine potential eligibility
  • Warrants not met – traffic signal is not recommended, but may evaluate the need for other countermeasures (signs, markings, and/or geometric modification)
  • Warrants met – traffic signal is recommended for installation; may also require geometric improvements subject to traffic analysis
  • Town identifies potential public funding source or private development responsibility in a proposed or previously approved plan
  • NCDOT may propose to design and fund a traffic signal as a safety improvement project on state-maintained roads subject to crash history and limited funds
  • NCDOT Division Traffic Engineer may/may not approve location for signalization – applies to all state-maintained roads and/or where a signal would be connected to a nearby NCDOT timing system and/or require railroad preemption
  • Costs typically range from $120,000-$350,000 per intersection depending on the size and type, with geometric improvements adding substantially more cost where required

Any intersection where at least one of the roads is a state-maintained road cannot be signalized until NCDOT finds that the signal is warranted and permits the design and installation to proceed. Traffic signals are traffic control devices and do not necessarily reduce or prevent crashes. 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 managed efficiently by stop signs.

Traffic Signal Preemption

The Town of Apex maintains preemption equipment within traffic signals at select locations to prioritize emergency vehicles. Preemption provides a green light to the prioritized movement as intended to aid emergency response efforts.

School Zone Time of Day Flashing Beacons

The Town of Apex maintains most of the school zone time of day flashing beacons within corporate limits and extra-territorial jurisdiction. These beacons are placed along routes where school zones have been established to warn drivers of school activity during school start and end times. They operate in a flashing pattern for a set duration before and after the school bell times. Adjustments are made to the times of operation for special events when staff are notified by the school system. Otherwise, the school calendar is programmed in advance. Town of Cary maintains some of the beacons found along the border of corporate limits.

Crosswalk Flashing Beacons

The Town of Apex maintains all crosswalk flashing beacons within corporate limits and extra-territorial jurisdiction.  Rectangular rapid flash beacons (RRFBs) are used as warning devices for vehicular traffic at select pedestrian crosswalks. When activated, the beacons flash in a wig wag pattern, enhancing pedestrian visibility by alerting drivers on the road of their presence. RRFBs are not traffic signals, and are not intended to stop vehicular traffic at a pedestrian crossing. North Carolina law dictates that drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, however it is the responsibility of the pedestrian to gauge a safe crossing opportunity.  All crosswalk beacons in Apex are push button activated.


Report a Concern

Serge Grebenschikov, PE
Traffic Engineer


Division 5 Traffic
(919) 220-4600
Report Routine Requests

For signals operated within the Town of Cary system, requests may be directed to the Town of Cary Traffic Signal Maintenance Unit at (919) 469-4090.