Tripping the light fantastic

Why is it that we can be out in public, hear a song we like, and purchase it instantly from our iPhone, but it still takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get a green light at certain intersections? I know of at least one awful light, perhaps the worst intersection ever: Sierra Boulevard and Howe Avenue.

The greater Sierra Boulevard area was the haven for many of my friends way back in our single days (including the more-than-a-friend sac-eats) so there have been countless hours lost while sitting on Sierra, waiting to turn left onto Howe. The poorly timed signal almost threw off the benefit of the location’s close proximity to our leisure activities like the bike trail, Thursday nights at Mace’s, and the formerly quintessential singles’ joint: the Lucky supermarket at Loehmann’s Plaza.

It’s practically more time conscious to drive east on Sierra, turn right on Fulton (no right turn on red, mind you), and go west on Fair Oaks, rather than wait for the left at Howe.

There have got to be other lights like this in the region, so do us all a favor and let us know the ones to avoid and any recommended alternative routes.

8 thoughts on “Tripping the light fantastic”

  1. On a related note, I have noticed that some of the traffic lights in downtown one-way streets appear to be synched for going the opposite direction. Or, when traveling south on 15th, at W Street (which only travels west) there is an east facing traffic light. Huh?

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  2. I feel like the light at 32nd and J is a complete waste of everyone’s time. It stops the much heavier J traffic for the one, two, or sometimes no cars, that are waiting to turn left from 32nd. Boooooooo.

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  3. The north-south light on 28th Street at Q. You wait 5 minutes, with no traffic in sight. It has countless times thwarted my attempts to get from Una Mas to home with my food still warm.

    bhd is that east facing light at 15th old? They’re not switching to two-way on 15th like they did with Freeport/19th/21st?

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  4. There are two bad ones in Sacramento that I try & avoid. The light at T and Alhambra. It’s actually a weird like 3-way light or something, but rarely does any traffic need to get across T, and usually it just ends up being a bunch of cars waiting incessantly on Alhambra for the light to change. And, it doesn’t seem to be any better late at night there.

    My other pet peeve is the left turn light from Arden onto Fulton. I used to work over there and would get stuck at that dang thing every stinkin’ morning.

    BTW, thanks for bringing this up. I feel better now…

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  5. CoolDMZ – That light has been there a long time. Not sure how long, but I noticed it some years back. It’s supposedly for the traffic on W, and as far as I know there are no plans to make that a two-way street. The only purpose I can see that it serves is to make it slightly easier for me to see when the light is getting ready to change as I’m waiting to cross while heading south on 15th.

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  6. For some reason I seldom have problems with Sierra/Howe. However, just the other day I had time to contemplate slitting my wrists open at the Fulton/Howe stoplight as I rotted away in my vehicle waiting for a green to make the turn into Panera Bread. This has happened several times this month …

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  7. It’s not a light, but a sign, that irks me the most on my commute. It’s where 59th dead ends into Broadway. The light is always red with everyone waiting to make a right turn. The sign says (in big letters) “No Right Turn on Red” but below that it says “if pedestrians are present”. There are never any pedestrians yet the line will be 15 deep of idiots who are sitting there waiting for the green light. I’m not a traffic engineer but have thought that the sign should be changed to just read “Unless you are going to knock someone down, just go already!”

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