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Traffic lights blamed in Main Street collision; CDOT disagrees

A collision Sept. 1 at West Main and Chestnut streets was thought to be caused by malfunctioning traffic lights.
Police stated lights stayed green for longer than normal

A collision on West Main and Chestnut streets on Sept. 1 might have been caused by malfunctioning traffic lights, according to a police report.

A driver in a maroon Toyota Tundra was eastbound in the inner lane on West Main Street it collided with a white Buick Envision. The driver told police she had a green light at Chestnut and West Main.

The driver of the Buick told police she was northbound on South Chestnut Street and turning left onto Main Street, and that the light facing south had been green for “quite some time.”

As the second driver entered the intersection, the two cars collided about 11:30 a.m.

There was minimal damage to both cars, the incident report said.

Both drivers said they weren’t driving fast.

Joseph Yen, the officer who responded, wrote that he didn’t cite either driver because of the traffic lights.

He watched the lights for about five minutes and noticed “longer than normal delays, his report said.

A witness driving behind the Buick turning left from South Chestnut Street onto Main told police the south-facing light stayed green longer than normal. She said she saw the Tundra hit the Buick.

The Journal contacted the Colorado Department of Transportation Region 5 office in Durango about the lights.

A technician evaluated them Tuesday but was unable to find anything wrong with the cycles, said representative Christine Bond.

“He said it's basically impossible for the light to be green in both directions at the same time,” she said in an email.

CDOT will investigate further, she said.