Mixed Signals

Published April 6, 2012

It’s 7 am on a Sunday morning and I am driving on a four-lane road, at the posted speed, I might add, when the traffic light in the road ahead turns red. I look to see a car entering the intersection. There is none. Obviously the light is on a timer and cycles from green to red periodically. A bit further down the road the same thing happens again. No incoming traffic. This happened four times on the same stretch of road, not just to me but also to all who drove this road.

Perhaps this is acceptable when gas is cheap but at $4 a gallon this stop-start driving is a needless consumption of gas. Perhaps the timers could be set so the lights didn’t cycle, or perhaps were set on blinking mode, even turned off except in peak traffic hours. Maybe lights could be synchronized so that a driver stopped only once instead of every few feet. We are encouraged to conserve gas.

Fixing situations that waste gas (and time) would be a green light all could approve.