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« Reason

Change the lights

By Tyler S. Clark (Contact)


Published August 3, 2009

I spent last week in Columbus. As I drove up High Street in the evening, the traffic lights switched from their standard green light, yellow light, red light mode to yellow flashers for the main thoroughfare and rred flashers for side streets.

Yet, as I drive up and down my street, Fifth Avenue, day or night I still have to stop at every light and wait for no one to enter from side streets. Yes, I realize it's a four-lane road and a major through-way, but if Columbus and its many more residents can implement flashers on a four-lane road with a turn lane, surely we can do the same on Fifth.

This is before a discussion of timing the lights. Only if I exceed the speed limit by ten miles per hour or more can I make it through the majority of stop lights on Fifth. Even then, there are some that won't cooperate. Moments after driving northbound from the light at Fifth Avenue and Spring Street, by Stambaugh Stadium, the light at the 422 overpass turns red. 

How difficult is this? What does it take to adjust the light sequence? How committed are we to living greener and more sustainably and adjusting our circumstances to the realities of our lowered population?

Yes, of course I realize this is not our top priority; I'm not suggesting it's an emergency. But it's one of those little things that makes me feel like we need to raise our expectations and pay attention to a few details that add up to quality of life and pride of place.

I, for one, don't think it's safe to have unwritten rules like "You don't have to stop for lights in Youngstown at night." We could set certain ones to automatically switch to flashing mode and solve the problem.


Comments

1leaveusalone(103 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I agree the timing of the lights is annoying; but wonder if the speeding problem on Fifth would grow worse with the changes you suggest? (10 miles per hour over the speed limit, Tyler? That's 45 MPH - in an area that can scarcely accomodate the limit of 35! TSK TSK) Seriously, Fifth already resembles a NASCAR track most days - making it easier to drive straight through is just an invitation to go faster.

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2nlpavalko(12 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I tend to agree with leaveusalone. I live in an apartment on West Wood street and I hear people racing up and down Fifth nearly every weekend.

But, Tyler is also correct. It's not a major emergency, but it's one of those little details that has been written off by the community at large as being "good enough."

Don't get me started about the state of Wick Avenue near the YSU campus! Why can't they repave it and bury the utility lines?!

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3Search4Answers(710 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Yeah I had a crazy professor who used to always talk about he dreaded leaving late in the morning because the lights switch back, Lol. The savings on gas would be only slight but I think everyone hates the feeling of sitting at a light with no one around. It feels like a waste of your life.

Also in Youngstown especially, this could help prevent crime if people aren't held hostage by the red light in high crime areas where a car jacking or mugging could happen.

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4nlpavalko(12 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Really Search4 Answers. . .are there really carjackings on every street corner in Youngstown? That's the sort of negative self-image that makes people (including myself) want to leave the area.

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