Tag Archives: stop

Green lights are a finite resource

I don’t understand why traffic takes off so slowly when the light turns green. The light stays green for a short amount of time, get your butts through the intersection should be your first priority! It ticks me off that people just mozy through as if it’ll stay green forever. What they need is a countdown timer to show how short the light cycle is. Sure we all want to be cautious, but if you’re paying attention, there is a 1 to 2 second overlap of the red lights to ensure the intersection is clear before proceeding. If someone decides to run the red light, well tough luck. They weren’t going to stop anyways. Everyone gogogogogogo!!!

Pay attention!

Coming up to a stop at an intersection, I want to make a right-hand turn. There is a yield lane, but it is being blocked by an old-timer in a Volvo. After waiting for a while I see the Altima in front of the Volvo take the yield turn lane and proceed. This clears up an area where the Volvo could creep into and I could sneak into the right-hand yield lane. But now, the Volvo driver is clearly distracted by the wonders of NPR to even consider being nice to his fellow drivers. If only I could preempt that broadcast and say “The large automobile fore of your conveyance has vacated the premises and the automobile operator aft of you wishes to proceed with completing a right-hand turn. Please move forward.” Of course, in the heat of the moment it would probably sound more like GTFO.

Stopping in Parking Lots

This is a common occurrence at most supermarkets: someone waiting for another person to vacate a parking stall. Why has it become socially acceptable to do this? It is irritating and wastes people’s time and gas. I see it all the time. Someone driving around will see a family walk out to their minivan with a shopping cart full of groceries. The person wants the spot so they wait patiently for the family to load up. The family isn’t rushing so the process takes an eternity. At this point traffic in the aisle has come to a standstill for this lady in an Avalon with her blinker on.

The rage meter is inching up due to the fact that this spot isn’t even prime real estate. It’s smack dab in the middle of the lot. To make matters worse, the aisles are one-way so there isn’t enough room to drive around the blockade. People who have had enough and have an exit strategy decided to back-up and go down another aisle. Smart move. I follow suit and back down the aisle to go to another aisle. There I get stuck behind another offender of the blink-and-wait. Seriously?! Ugh, screw it, I need the exercise. I end up settling on a parking space at the end of the lot because I need my box of chicken stuffing now!

This is a grocery store, not the airport. No spot is worth waiting more than 10 seconds for. If that person just got into their car, and they’ve started backing out of a parking spot then fair enough. If they just walked out of the store, and you’re following them to their car then GTFO!

Synced traffic lights

Traffic is stopped

Traffic is stopped on opposite sides of the traffic light.

On my commute to work there are two traffic lights every mile for the side roads. The lights were not synchronized and a majority of the lights were on a timer and program loop. Traffic was pretty bad and I wished that the city would synchronize the lights. Construction for new lights started at the end of August last year and finally finished last week (so it took the city seven months to replace five lights). I was quite puzzled why they took so long to replace the lights. They could have gotten all of the equipment and replaced them all at once in the middle of the night instead of closing the intersection for an hour a week over the seven months, but I digress.

Well, when they finally made the switch to the new lights I thought “Finally! Maybe traffic won’t be so bad now!” Oh boy, was I wrong. The new lights are synchronized, but there were two lights in front of a grocery store that was not replaced. One of those lights is for a major intersection with another highway. Think of it like a pipe with valves every few feet. All the valves except for one open and close at the same time. That one valve that isn’t synced ends up being the one controlling most of the water and causes the most congestion.

So, basically all the traffic is controlled by this pair of traffic lights that operate independently of the other lights. Traffic backs up for a mile in both directions, which extended my commute by ten more minutes. You’d think they’d figure that replacing the light where two highways intersect would be the important one to be replaced! Well, it turns out they reverted the traffic light programming back to what it originally was after a week of terrible traffic. My commute has become a lot less of a rage-fest! Huzzah!