The PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) will start to decommission and remove the red, yellow and green traffic lights used as feedback signals starting March 20 with the Harrisburg West Interchange (Exit 242). The traffic signals, used to provide feedback to E-ZPass drivers indicating their transponders were properly read, are now prohibited for such use by federal guidelines.
“Signal light technology currently in use has become outdated and cumbersome,” explains PTC Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey. “As the Commission prepares to update toll equipment in the lanes with more modern hardware and software, we are incorporating new federal signage standards. While the removal of signals may cause some initial confusion, it will soon become the norm as our customers adjust to the change.”
As the PTC replaces its equipment with enhanced technology, customers may temporarily see the decommissioned light stations wrapped in yellow plastic at certain Harrisburg-area interchanges and at “E-ZPass Only” interchanges north and east of Philadelphia. Thereafter, the signals — which have been in service since E-ZPass was launched in 2001 — will go away at several interchanges each month until the upgrade is completed by the end of 2017.
The change will ultimately simplify signage for customers, as well as reduce stop-and-go traffic through the interchanges as these removals continue along the 550-mile system.
Customers should continue to travel through E-ZPass lanes at the posted speeds for their own safety as well as the safety of other motorists and toll collectors.