Traffic Signals

The Traffic Division maintains 114 traffic signals. The signals are designed, constructed and operated to allow for the safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians through heavily traveled or hazardous locations.

Most of the traffic signals in West Des Moines are triggered by detection loops within the pavement. The loops sense the presence of a vehicle and notify the signal controller that a vehicle is at the intersection. Some of the signals are triggered by video detection cameras. Many of the signals along major streets have timing patterns that change throughout the day and on different days of the week to provide optimal traffic flow. 

Traffic Signal CabinetProblems occasionally develop because of failure of the electronic components in the signals, power fluctuations, bulb burn-outs or damage. One problem is for a detector to be “stuck” which places a constant call to the signal controller. This causes the signal to be green on a street with the malfunctioning detector when there is no traffic present and cycle back to that street. This is most noticeable during late evening or early morning hours when traffic volumes are very low.


 Traffic signal problems can be reported in three ways, depending on the time of day: 

1. 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, call the Public Services Facility at 515-222-3480.

2. Nights and weekends, call West Des Moines Police Dispatch (Westcom) at 515-222-3321. 

3. Anytime, report a problem online using: 


Flashing Yellow Arrow Left-Turn Signal

Flashing Yellow Turn Signal

How does it work? . . . Why the change?

Learn more here: 

 Flashing Yellow Left-Turn Signal


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