Traffic Engineering


Contact Information


Kumar Neppalli

6850 Millhouse Rd
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Phone: 919-969-5093



The Traffic Engineering Division is responsible for managing, operating, and maintaining the Town’s traffic signal system, traffic signs and markings, and street lighting in a manner that is sensitive to community concerns while providing for the safe and efficient movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Traffic Engineering duties include:

  • Maintaining the Town’s traffic signal system, including timing plans, traffic monitoring, emergency repairs, preventive maintenance, small improvements, and larger contract project oversight.
  • Installing and maintaining all traffic control signs and pavement markings along Town-maintained streets. Street name signs and specialty signs are typically fabricated in-house. Larger pavement marking projects are performed by contract. The department also oversees traffic impact studies and manages the traffic calming program.
  • Ensuring new development compliance with established street lighting standards, responding to improvement requests, routinely inspecting major roadways, and the central business district street light for malfunctions.

Traffic Control and Parking Operations
The Town Council adopts ordinances setting speed limits, stop regulations, and other traffic control policies for Town-maintained streets. Residents may petition the Council at any business meeting for a new or change in an existing traffic or parking ordinance.

For State maintained streets, which include most of the major traffic routes, the State Board of Transportation adopts traffic regulations other than for parking. Parking is regulated by the Town except for streets in the UNC campus area, which the University regulates.

To request the consideration of a new ordinance or a change in a present ordinance on parking, stop regulations, or speed limits, please call the Traffic Engineering Division at 919-969-5100.

Traffic Calming Devices
Traffic calming devices, such as speed humps, speed tables, and raised pedestrian crosswalks, are in place on several streets in Chapel Hill. For more information about traffic calming devices, call 919-969-5100 or submit a Request Form for Traffic Calming Measures

Signs and Markings
The Town installs and maintains traffic control signs and pavement markings on Town-maintained streets. Signs and markings on State roads are installed and maintained by the State. However, all street name signs on both Town and State roads are installed and maintained by the Town.

If you have noticed a road sign that is damaged, missing or where one is needed, contact the Town's Traffic Engineering Division at 919-969-4999 (7:00 am – 6:00 pm) or 919-968-2760 (outside of normal business hours).

Street Lights
The Town ensures new development compliance with established street lighting standards, responds to improvement requests, and routinely inspects major roadways and the central business district for malfunctions. Duke Energy installs and maintains the Town’s street lights. For more information about the placement of streetlights, please call 919-969-5100 or email

To report a streetlight outage, call Duke Power at 800-POWERON (800-769-3766) or submit a request online.

Traffic Signals and Signal System

The Town operates and maintains the traffic signal system on both State and Town-maintained roads throughout Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The majority of the 130 traffic signals are owned by the State but maintained by the Town through a municipal agreement.

The Traffic Management Center (TMC), located in the Public Works Department, is a smart system that collects data and makes real-time adjustments to the traffic signal system. The system is capable of many other smart functions including identifying and reporting failures and allowing remote adjustments by certified traffic signal technicians and Town engineering staff members. The TMC is equipped with computers, software and eleven video display units that allow traffic engineering staff members to monitor traffic flow, adjust timings, take interim corrective action in response to traffic signal malfunctions, dispatch technicians, and perform other key functions in managing traffic flow in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and a few intersections in Durham. The center will typically be staffed Monday through Friday during peak traffic hours.

To report a signal malfunction, timing issues, or bulb failure, please call 919-969-4999 (7:00 am – 6:00 pm, Monday-Friday), or 919-968-2760 (outside of normal business hours). Or, email



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