The Stoplight

FAQ about the stoplight.

1. Doesn’t it make getting out of your driveway easier?
No. I understand the logic behind this question (which invariably everyone I know has asked). But it doesn’t. It makes virtually no difference when we’re headed south. It runs 50/50 on whether it has no effect or whether it makes it harder when going north.

2. Doesn’t it make crossing the street on foot easier/faster/safer?
Not typically. Every time I’ve crossed the street since the stoplight, I could have easily and safely crossed BEFORE the light changed to WALK. We don’t usually cross during morning rush hour, though.

3. Doesn’t it make traffic run more smoothly?
Um, no. And actually, the average wait time for drivers crossing 42nd on Kingman has gone up significantly. I don’t feel bad for them, though. The average wait time for drivers turning left onto 42nd from Kingman, headed in either direction, is about the same. Drivers on 42nd, of course, now have to stop, so their travel time is longer.

4. Isn’t it just so much safer?
Um, maybe. I think that the fact that now drivers kind of gun it down the street to make the green light actually endangers everyone, but the city tells me that stuff doesn’t happen, and even if it does, it’s perfectly safe.

And then there’s the side effects I hadn’t thought of before:
– the ever-present green glow in my house, particularly at night.
– the fire trucks now have to honk thru the intersection, since it’s a stoplight. that is just lovely, I tell you. lovely.
– lots of people, since they’re stopped in front of my house, have more opportunity than ever to try to look into our windows. At least most of them look guilty when they’re caught.

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