There’s a traffic light near my house that crosses a major arterial, old Highway 99, which runs through Seattle. Lately I’ve noticed that the light has dramatically differing periods of green which seem unrelated to the amount of traffic.
One day, the light will be green for only 6 or 7 seconds even with heavy traffic. Later the same day, the light will remain green for 30 or more seconds even with light traffic. I don’t get it. It’s like the short green in heavy traffic is intended to snag impatient drivers who can’t believe how short the green was, and cheat a bit on the yellow.
The location is on the border of Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ where Patterson Avenue in Hoboken crosses the Light Rail tracks and turns into Patterson Plank Road in Jersey City. There are also two small roads feeding in — Marshall St in Hoboken and Mountain Road in Jersey City — but these are only a minor complicating factor.
The main thing is that at random times (and often enough so that Uber drivers avoid the railroad crossing and I personally have stopped riding Bus 87 which travels on that route... choosing to walk instead) all lights in all directions are red. There is no train, but all lights are red. For a long, long, long, long time.
Traffic engineering crews escorted by police units from both jurisdictions periodically come out and “study” the situation, but in the 12 years I am aware of there has been absolutely no change in this absolutely stupid situation. Like I said, it doesn’t even result in revenue. People don’t usually run red lights at railroad crossings and anyway I hardly ever see any cops around. I also don’t think there are cameras.
It’s just pure stupidity.
Somewhere there are whole departments of engineers and their supervisors and their supervisors’ supervisors all making pay and benefits and doing absolutely nothing. Year after year after year after year.
It’s no big deal to me. I never drive that way and on my commute I always walk and avoid the wait.
But it boggles my mind that it can continue... and that the sheep just accept it and don’t get angry and remove every single city official from both cities.
Whatever. I guess they just like just like sitting at lights.
Back in the days when I did ride Bus 87, BTW, I did occasionally talk to the bus drivers and say “you guys should report this”. But what do they care? It’s all in an 8-hour day to them.