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Traffic light

By ProblemSolverSolutionSeeker ·
I noticed the heavy volume on a recent post on bad drivers.

I spend almost 2 hours a day in traffic. I should carry a clicker sometime and count all of the traffic lights I go through, but it is upwards of 50 or more one way.

In this day of IT, why are traffic lights so horrible? There is one light that I have to go around since it will not allow me to go straight. Another light, that does left turn arrow first and only - yet no one ever turns that way. I see left turn lights that stay green way too long as well. I will not mention the light that catches me every morning that is there just for a department store that starts with a W*. Another light just seems to be there for the h of it. I could go on and on.

I estimate that 20-30 minutes a day are lost because lights are not operating properly.

Does any one else feel this way?

Is it safe to say that fixing these lights would greatly improve traffic and reduce pollution?

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Some of it is cost,

by TonytheTiger In reply to call them...

but most of it is simply drivers who think the universe ends at the back bumper of the car in front of them. We had to put lights at several intersections along a rual 4-lane, because people were getting killed! So about 5 lights were put in, at about 125,000 per. Deaths are down, but now people are pissed because they have to stop occasionally. "Why didn't you put in an interchange?" they ask. Well, most intersections are around towns with houses that people live in. Now I'm sure those pissed off drivers really don't care, but those people in those houses are taxpayers too, and I'm not real sure the driver understands the number of families that would have to be displaced to build this interchange. nor how much it will cost ($500k to a couple million, depending mostly on the property values of the displaced homes). "Well, they can just take the money they get and move somewhere else!", the disgruntled driver says. "Yes", I'd tell them if it were up to me, "They can move into your house." :)

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Traffic study

by fvrba In reply to call them...

I don't know if it's the same all over but in Omaha you can call and ask for a traffic study but you won't get one. Unless lots of people call often and accidents are happening, they won't spend the money for a study. It seems for every intersection I know a study gets done on, the time frame from first request to finished study is measured in years.

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please

by ericl_w19 In reply to Traffic light

i dont want to hear any complaints from people in their car about traffic lights.motorcycles hardly ever trip any of the traffic lights and so we are forced to wait for another car to come behind us or run the light.

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Didn't they teach you?

by NickNielsen In reply to please

Pay attention as you come up to lights and look for the trip wire loop. Don't ride in the center of the loop; ride straight down the wire on one side or another. Stop completely on the wire, even if you are 15 or more feet back from the light. You've got a much better chance triggering the sensors that way.

And it's not just bikes. Many left turn lanes in South Carolina have the loop set two or three car lengths back from the stop line. If you are the only car there and pull up to the line, you will never get an arrow. You would be amazed at how many people look at me like I'm nuts when I stop 20 feet behind them in the left turn lane...

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Now that you mentioned the stop line...

by OnTheRopes In reply to Didn't they teach you?

It's a little depressing to see how many people don't have a clue about what it is. How many times do you actually see someone stop at the stop line properly?

When a driver stops completely beyond the stop line and impedes vehicle or pedestrian traffic the driver will often flip someone off or snarl in a heartbeat if the person blocked so much as glances sideways at the driver while trying to get around them.

It's that, "Me first. I'm important. You're not", attitude.

Again.


Edited: yep

"If I have made myself clear, you must have misunderstood me." - Alan Greenspan

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One of the nice things about Germany

by NickNielsen In reply to Now that you mentioned th ...

When I was there, if you stopped with the front or your vehicle projecting past the edge of the stop line, you could be ticketed for failing to yield to pedestrians. If your vehicle completely crossed the stop line, you were considered to have run the light by entering the intersection. Lots of Americans learned this the hard way when they got the DM500 ticket in the mail. :0 Gotta love those cameras!

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That's a fine fine to remember!

by OnTheRopes In reply to One of the nice things ab ...

The biggest issue I have with cameras at traffic lights is when they shorten the caution light to generate revenue.

One study showed that intersections with cameras in one city had caution lights at 2.7 seconds while neighboring intersections without cameras stayed yellow for 4.0 seconds. I've heard of that shortened interval happening in other cities too.

I think that happens because the companies that sell the cameras use the revenue generating aspect as sales material. Those same companies sometimes manage the cameras for a municipality under contract. The money generated from tickets can pay for the cameras and the people who run them and still give the local government a nice little pile of cash to spend on "road improvements". (yeah right)

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Advance warning needed

by JimTheEngineer In reply to That's a fine fine to rem ...

A friend of mine received a ticket with a photo showing that she was still about 15 inches away from the intersection when the light went from yellow to red. Well, at 30 mph (44 ft/sec or 528 in/sec), that space takes about 28 milliseconds to traverse - kinda hard to measure that by eye. THe double flashing yellow lights I mentioned in a previous post would allow the driver the safely and accurately judge whether to go or stop in plenty of time to stop if needed.

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That's why people get that spray for their license plate

by Why Me Worry? In reply to Advance warning needed

Yes it is illegal, but go ahead and try to stop people from doing it for the exact reasons you just stated. The shorter duration yellow lights are usually accompanied by those cameras as a speed trap to generate revenue for the municipality by entraping motorists to run so called "red lights". My dad has been slapped with these things all the time while driving within the 5 boroughs of NYC. The yellow light comes on for about 2 seconds, making it virtually impossible to not run a red unless you slam on the brakes as soon as it turns yellow.

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Funny you should mention that (WMW)

by TonytheTiger In reply to Advance warning needed
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