Results 1 to 21 of 21

Thread: Traffic signal rant

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountain lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    10,633

    Default Traffic signal rant

    I spent over 30 years of my adult life living in the suburbs of NYC. It seemed like I spent half that time sitting at traffic lights.
    Now that I'm retired to the boonies of Vermont, I see far fewer. Up until two weeks ago, I could drive from my house to the nearest town, nine miles away, without encountering a single traffic light. But, it was too good to last. Some traffic engineer with too much time on his hands decided that we needed one at the intersection of two state highways halfway to town. It's a simple T-intersection where one highway ends and butts into another. Both are simple two lane roads. There's never been any problems, congestion or accidents at this intersection. Simple right-of-way rules have always worked fine.
    So, today I go into town for some errands and find myself stopped at this new red light for a few minutes. Not a single car in sight the entire time. I felt like a fool sitting there out in the middle of nowhere waiting for this stupid light to change.
    What's worse is I have to go through this intersection every time I want to trailer my boats to the nearby lakes.
    The money spent on this useless project could have been better spent elsewhere.
    Thus endth my rant.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    24,476

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    About a year or three after we moved to New Hampshire my wife blew her horn at someone in an intersection. I was surprised. I said to her, "Honey, we're not in Delaware anymore." Then she blew her horn at me, so to speak. I decided to keep my opinions to myself in the future.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    19,570

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Reminds me of that scene from 'The Mexican' - Pitt sitting at a stoplight in the middle of nowhere, no traffic in sight - until he decides to 'run the red', and is nearly t-boned by a truck.

    Good times.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Central MA
    Posts
    6,927

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    I don't understand why with all of our computer and sensor technology they can't put sensors in the intersections to detect when cars are/aren't approaching and control the traffic lights accordingly. In cases like you described where it's not a matter of timing and coordinating multiple traffic lights such as in an urban setting, if no cars are coming form one direction, why can't the light for the other direction stay green?
    Voting is like driving a car: Choose "R" to move backwards. Choose "D" to move forward.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bradford, VT
    Posts
    5,913

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Be a shame if some drunken Bubba shotgunned the lights
    How awful those 10yr old boys shot the signal out with a 22

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Posts
    5,110

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Of course the sensors cost more money. It seems like they could have put a round-about there like they did for a few low traffic roads such as Rt 2 in Anne Arundel county in Maryland.
    Will

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    30,013

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianY View Post
    I don't understand why with all of our computer and sensor technology they can't put sensors in the intersections to detect when cars are/aren't approaching and control the traffic lights accordingly. In cases like you described where it's not a matter of timing and coordinating multiple traffic lights such as in an urban setting, if no cars are coming form one direction, why can't the light for the other direction stay green?
    They have something like that at all traffic lights in SoCal. The reverse problem is that you can see the green light but if you are not up to the light with the other cars turning in time it immediately senses the flow has stopped and turns red before you get to the intersection.

    You can never win lights suck
    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Caribbean cliff edge
    Posts
    16,615

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    I spent over 30 years of my adult life living in the suburbs of NYC. It seemed like I spent half that time sitting at traffic lights.
    Now that I'm retired to the boonies of Vermont, I see far fewer. Up until two weeks ago, I could drive from my house to the nearest town, nine miles away, without encountering a single traffic light. But, it was too good to last. Some traffic engineer with too much time on his hands decided that we needed one at the intersection of two state highways halfway to town. It's a simple T-intersection where one highway ends and butts into another. Both are simple two lane roads. There's never been any problems, congestion or accidents at this intersection. Simple right-of-way rules have always worked fine.
    So, today I go into town for some errands and find myself stopped at this new red light for a few minutes. Not a single car in sight the entire time. I felt like a fool sitting there out in the middle of nowhere waiting for this stupid light to change.
    What's worse is I have to go through this intersection every time I want to trailer my boats to the nearby lakes.
    The money spent on this useless project could have been better spent elsewhere.
    Thus endth my rant.
    Why don't you get a portable traffic light remote control like the rest of us retirees?
    Enjoy a good rum on the rocks at sunset.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rockford, IL
    Posts
    9,160

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Traffic circles are the answer. Sweden has VERY few traffic lights, even in Stockholm. They have thousands of traffic circles. Rockford recently took out a light that went green kone way at a time, four directions. That's 3 to one red versus green; what a PIA. The new traffic circle is MUCH faster, though some dumb asses abuse the rules..

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Winnipeg MB
    Posts
    16,697

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Roundabouts rule, but ground loops for vehicle detection run a close second. Most of the unbalanced intersections (i.e., lower traffic emptying into higher traffic) in my city have them; I'm surprised to hear they aren't commonly deployed elsewhere. The only problem with them is that bicycles don't reliably set them off unless you get off and lower the bike into close proximity with the loop, and even then it's a dodgy proposition depending on frame material.

    What are you doing about it?




  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountain lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    10,633

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    Traffic circles are the answer. Sweden has VERY few traffic lights, even in Stockholm. They have thousands of traffic circles. Rockford recently took out a light that went green kone way at a time, four directions. That's 3 to one red versus green; what a PIA. The new traffic circle is MUCH faster, though some dumb asses abuse the rules..
    Roundabouts would be a bit tricky in this situation as everyone would end up in the river that runs parallel to the road!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountain lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    10,633

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Rum_Pirate View Post
    Why don't you get a portable traffic light remote control like the rest of us retirees?
    I gotta git me one of those thangs!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    23,926

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    VTrans can go overboard sometimes. I'm guessing that there was some study done that said 1.2 lives per decade could be saved & it crossed some federal threshold that required it be done or else lose funding.

    Your local regional planning commission has input on this & they listen to residents. Every monthly meeting has a "members of the public" section - or call/email them. https://www.rutlandrpc.org/

    There's a light in Richmond, VT that replaced a stop sign at an odd 3-way - where a 3rd road comes in before the T. For years & years, everyone coming from the side that had the extra road alternated beautifully. Because one of the roads is a federal highway (US Rte 2) - the Feds had the say & they refused to believe that people would do that. At an RPC meeting (our region, not yours) - several of us told the Fed guy that & he voiced his disbelief & refused to do a site visit. Most of us expressed our displeasure and he went away with his nose out of joint, but still up in the air.

    ETA: In your case, I am surprised they didn't do a roundabout - as VTrans has finally accepted them. Must be the site costs would've been too high.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountain lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    10,633

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    VTrans can go overboard sometimes. I'm guessing that there was some study done that said 1.2 lives per decade could be saved & it crossed some federal threshold that required it be done or else lose funding.

    Your local regional planning commission has input on this & they listen to residents. Every monthly meeting has a "members of the public" section - or call/email them. https://www.rutlandrpc.org/

    There's a light in Richmond, VT that replaced a stop sign at an odd 3-way - where a 3rd road comes in before the T. For years & years, everyone coming from the side that had the extra road alternated beautifully. Because one of the roads is a federal highway (US Rte 2) - the Feds had the say & they refused to believe that people would do that. At an RPC meeting (our region, not yours) - several of us told the Fed guy that & he voiced his disbelief & refused to do a site visit. Most of us expressed our displeasure and he went away with his nose out of joint, but still up in the air.

    ETA: In your case, I am surprised they didn't do a roundabout - as VTrans has finally accepted them. Must be the site costs would've been too high.
    In my case, there is no room for a roundabout. River on one side, mountain on the other.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    10,140

    Default

    Round about would work in 75% of intersections with lights in America.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Long Beach, California
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    My hometown (in California) still doesn't have a single traffic light - thank God.

    Ralphie

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tuckahoe
    Posts
    7,885

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianY View Post
    I don't understand why with all of our computer and sensor technology they can't put sensors in the intersections to detect when cars are/aren't approaching and control the traffic lights accordingly. In cases like you described where it's not a matter of timing and coordinating multiple traffic lights such as in an urban setting, if no cars are coming form one direction, why can't the light for the other direction stay green?
    They do of course. Usually they will return to reside green on the artery, but your last suggestion is certainlly within the capability of modern controllers.

    Is the the project? http://www.aot.state.vt.us/FactSheet...spx?pin=13B020 there is contact info within. I was a bit surprised at the cost.
    Steve Martinsen

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    US
    Posts
    3,460

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    One thing is for sure. Folks with too much time on their hands will find something to "Rant" about here just about every single day. :<}
    Happy trails to you.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rockford, IL
    Posts
    9,160

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Roundabouts would be a bit tricky in this situation as everyone would end up in the river that runs parallel to the road!
    Roundabouts at T-intersections are fairly common.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    19,570

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    I gotta git me one of those thangs!

    Most of us have 'the chip' imbedded in us... saves a lot of hassle, until the battery needs jumping.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    16,089

    Default Re: Traffic signal rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    Traffic circles are the answer. Sweden has VERY few traffic lights, even in Stockholm. They have thousands of traffic circles. Rockford recently took out a light that went green kone way at a time, four directions. That's 3 to one red versus green; what a PIA. The new traffic circle is MUCH faster, though some dumb asses abuse the rules..
    France, too. Tons of traffic circles.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •