Not a green light to be found

By From page A6 | July 25, 2013

A friend of mine — a notorious liar — claims that last month, driving north at the intersection of Fifth and B, he caught a green light two days in a row.

This, of course, is impossible.

As everyone knows, the lights in Davis are programmed to turn red when a car approaches, not green.

Newcomers are often puzzled by this fact. They imagine that the purpose of signal lights is to manage a safe, efficient, orderly flow of traffic. They are frustrated by having to stop every 200 feet. They do not understand why the light changes back after only one care has gone through it. They are baffled by the logic that halts every car at a four-way intersection for a full minute or two, with no pedestrian in sight.

Had they been here in the early 1980s, they would understand this policy was instituted by an extremely progressive and pro-bicycle City Council. It was simply intended to punish anyone wicked enough to own a car.

Things have changed, obviously, and subsequent City Councils have been more interested in creating urban sprawl than monitoring political correctness. That the traffic lights remain so hopelessly stuck in the ’80s is therefore a bit of a mystery. Sometimes, in weak moments, I even wonder if our city government may possibly be (I can scarcely bring myself to say the word out loud) incomp–ent.

Max Byrd

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