New signals slow traffic but help drivers get acquainted
I would like to congratulate the traffic division for slowing us
all down on the streets in Burbank. I can see now how it’s been a
real problem having traffic moving efficiently through the city. It’s
much better to slow everyone down and have us wait at the new, longer
stop lights being put up all over the city.
Now there’s plenty of time to read that new book you just bought,
balance your checkbook or make that cell phone call to your long lost
cousin Bob. There’s plenty of time to scan through all the radio
stations and reprogram your radio. And we finally have the time to
search the car for that Bruce Springsteen tape that has been missing
in action for the past two years.
And the other drivers are so happy and courteous, too. Everyone is
giving each other the old one-finger “hi” sign. Happy people are
waiting for 10 minutes to get through the “new improved” five points
intersection near Costco. Joyous drivers are trying desperately to
pull out of the blocked parking lots of businesses located near
stoplights where the traffic has backed up. Gleeful residents are
braking every 200 yards for one red stoplight after another.
And think of all the new friends we’ll be making at the brake
shops and the gas stations. I can see now that it’s all part of
Burbank’s divine plan to stop moving traffic in the city so that we
can all get to know one another. Happy, happy people waiting together
in a happy world.
Traffic signals need further fine tuning
I have a confession to make. I did something last Thursday
afternoon that has bothered me to the point that I have difficulty
sleeping at night. You see, I was driving eastbound on Magnolia
Boulevard about 6 p.m., and as I approached Buena Vista Street, the
light suddenly turned to green. This allowed me, as well as several
of the cars ahead of me, to proceed without stopping. I know that
this is not supposed to happen since the installation of all those
left-turn signals, but it did. I guess I just got caught up in the
moment. Seeing no police officers around, I went for it.
I know that the traffic engineers have installed the new signals
so that the small percentage of cars turning left won’t have to wait
more than one signal cycle (good idea), and the vast majority of cars
proceeding straight ahead must often wait through two cycles (bad
idea). The new traffic patterns allow traffic to back up for two
blocks before major intersections and force large groups of cars to
stop at the next two lights at minor intersections because the new
signals haven’t been synchronized yet.
I understand that there will be synchronization in the future
(good idea), but it is not yet in place. However, what happened last
Thursday, quite frankly, smacks of the “S” word, and I think the
traffic engineers should look into it to see that this type of thing
doesn’t happen again. I would also urge those other motorists who
went through the intersection with me on the green, without stopping,
to come forward and turn yourselves in. You know who you are.