Monday, November 22, 2010


Yes, I know the light was red as we completed our left turn from Sievers Deucy to Glenwood. But we have sat for two days at that traffic light and we took a chance. The only other vehicles were stopped at their red on Glenwood. An airport express van and a PUD utility truck are not known to accelerate rapidily (Fun to say. Try it.)

If you don’t know Glenwood, read in the intersection that makes you wait where you live. The historically worst was waiting at Ignacio Valley Rd for a full 4.5 minutes per cycle. If I was on a motorcycle I had to wait for a car to pull up behind me in the left turn lane and trigger the signal.

A system is a routine that allows function and regularity, such as traffic control. It is a collection of subsystems, such as traffic lights.

The law says Red stop and Green go. I have heard so many versions of Yellow since Drivers’ Ed days that I am unsure of the correct interpretation.

These laws have transitioned through the years from courtesy stops before the invention of traffic lights to today's fineable offenses. They supposedly keep us safe. Perhaps. But they also allow us to drive on autopilot with cursory glances at other traffic. 

They have become an accepted part of our system. We even have a name for it: intelligent transportation system. The newest addition is the traffic enforcement camera system that records our infractions and transfers the news to a machine. I don’t know who or what part of the system callously mails us a ticket.

Cameras are the subject of much debate, while waiting at the traffic light at Sievers Deucy and Glenwood is a foregone conclusion. Unless we can accelerate into the intersection while the light is still green and the airport express driver is daydreaming.

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