Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who do I contact if there is a problem with a traffic signal?
    Contact the Contact Centre at 905.477.5530 or The City will dispatch the maintenance contractor to investigate and make necessary repairs.

  • Why do some traffic signals stay “green” at night?
    During overnight and other periods where there is low vehicle demand on the side street, the green will stay on the “major” road. However, when a vehicle is detected on the side street or a pedestrian presses the push button, the traffic signal will change to serve waiting vehicle or pedestrian on the side street. If the signals are changing without any vehicles or pedestrians waiting, there could be a malfunction. If this is occurring, please contact the Contact Centre.

  • How are vehicles detected?
    Detectors are placed in the roadway of side streets and left turn lanes. Some intersections may have detectors over the road. They detect when a vehicle is waiting and make the intersection operate more efficiently.

  • Why does the signal turn “green” for a side street when no cars or pedestrians are there?
    The most common reason for this is that the detector or pedestrian push button is not working. When this happens, the traffic signal adapts by providing a “green” indication to the side street at regular intervals. If you notice this scenario at any of the City of Markham’s signalized intersections, please contact the Contract Centre.

  • Why does the "Walk” display not appear when the “green” signal display appears? How does the pedestrian push button operate?
    The green display is for vehicular traffic only and not for pedestrians. Most crossings have a push button with instructions to allow pedestrians to safely cross the street. To cross the street, a pedestrian needs to press the button and wait for the “Walk” to be displayed before starting to cross. If there is no button, a “Walk” display will appear automatically to advise when it is safe to cross the street.

  • Why does the flashing hand appear before I've finished crossing?
    The flashing “Don't Walk” hand is a warning to pedestrians who have not yet entered the intersection that it is too late to start crossing. Pedestrians should not begin crossing the street when the flashing hand signal appears but should continue crossing if they have already started.

  • What if I don’t push the pedestrian button?
    Not pressing the pedestrian button will result in the traffic signal to continue servicing vehicular traffic and ignoring pedestrians who are waiting to cross. Pedestrians need more time than vehicles to cross the street, so it’s necessary to push the button to give you the time needed to cross.

  • Why do I keep hearing beeping or chirping sounds at some intersections?
    Audible pedestrian signals are installed at signalized intersection to assist with pedestrians who have visual disabilities. The audible sounds provide guidance to visually impaired pedestrians, indicating when the “Walk” signal appears. To activate the audible feature, the push button must be pressed and held for 3 seconds.

  • Are traffic signals in Markham coordinated?
    The traffic signals along York Region’s arterial roads (such as Highway 7 and Kennedy Road) are coordinated for peak direction of travel in during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
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