Traffic lights are way too stupid and there is no excuse for it

We live in the 21st century.  My microwave is one step away from becoming sentient.  Why is it then, that traffic lights still seem to be running like a Coleco?  Honestly, my 6 year old flip phone can practically predict the future, yet I was just stopped at a traffic light for two minutes for phantom cars.  GUESS WHAT TRAFFIC LIGHT, PHANTOM CARS DON’T EXIST. 

I am pretty positive that it would take little to no effort, for a programmer to make a traffic light program that can learn.  It would measure traffic flow throughout the day and adjust itself accordingly.  Like, if it is 4 in the morning, why not just switch to green automatically for any car that comes by?  I know there are lights that do this already.  Why don’t they all do it?  Why don’t lights just all become yield lights after say, 2 a.m.  Keep the high traffic street permanently green and have the other direction set to yield.  HOW HARD WOULD THAT BE? Really, how much would it cost to upgrade all the lights to be smarter?  I bet the program could be stored all on a chip that costs 10 cents to make.

And another thing, have you people noticed a surge in “turn on green light only” lights?  They are everywhere and they are a nuisance.  Sometimes they are on streets that don’t even have fast and heavy traffic.  Why do they have to torment me like this?  Isn’t my life already bad enough?  Can’t I at least enjoy turning left while oncoming traffic barrels down on me?

I assume people that don’t have road rage and are understanding (sheep) will say that the reason for all this crap is SAFETY.  I am far too cynical and suspicious for that.  I think the real reason is just to have more excuses to give people tickets.  Illinois does have a huge money problem after all.  I am pretty sure that there was a meeting in some darkened room that went something like this:

” Ok men, we are 12 billion in the hole.  People are getting really tired of our shit.  We need to make money and fix this problem FAST what do we do?

“Well, we could stop siphoning tax dollars into our own bank accounts.  Perhaps we could take pay cuts ourselves and also cut back spending money on needless things.”

“Louie, Legs, make this guy disappear”

“Wha?  ACK ACHHHHH EEEEHHhhhhhh”

“Alright, how about we just dick over our citizens by taxing and ticketing them, but actually change nothing for the better in the process”

“I like your gumption.  I think you got something there.  LET’S DO IT”

Yea I am sure that is exactly how it went down.  IT’S A BIG CONSPIRACY AND WE ARE ALL GETTING SCREWED BY IT.  GAS COMPANIES DON’T WANT US TO GET TO OUR DESTINATIONS IN AN EFFICIENT MANNER.  CAR COMPANIES WANT OUR CARS TO IDLE LONGER AND HAVE MORE STOP AND GO TRAFFIC.  SOMETHING MUST BE DONE

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4 thoughts on “Traffic lights are way too stupid and there is no excuse for it

  1. scottodactyl says:

    As a hater of highways, I deal heavily on stop lights every day, and I pretty much agree with with all your complaints about how unintelligent they are. On the way home from your house the other night at like 3 AM, I was the only car at a huge intersection on 75th, and I waited at a red light for like 2 minutes. No other cars came. Big stoops. I don’t know if it’s a conspiracy, but probably more that the government doesn’t give a shit about fixing little things because they have non-related, selfish, private agendas. Kind of how potholes take forever to get filled. They more or less just don’t care until someone important calls them out on it, or someone gets killed for some reason because of it. The government won’t care until they have to cover their asses!

  2. Rob says:

    Oh my god I have found someone who sounds like me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God you are so damn right there are more and more 4 way stops and lights coming up in my city it’s ridiculous I can get around just as fast on my road bike. Plus people are like sheep and are not willing to speed to make the chain of green lights I bet they made it that way on purpose. People like to drive thirty on wide open 3 lane streets in my city and they have no concept of what the fast lane is.

  3. Don Bettis says:

    I live in Jefferson City Tennessee and the lights are ridiculous. They turn yellow for no reason and then the turn arrow lights up with no one there. There are pressure strips in all lanes but I think whoever is in charge of the traffic lights is a moron and doesn’t or can’t understand the technology. ALSO!! Drivers just seem to sit there, not paying attention to the light change and by the time you get to it it turns red again. I was six cars back at a light the other day and it took 16 seconds for me to pass through the light. Theoretically, if there were 50 cars in line at a light and they all started barely accelerating at the same time as soon as the light changed the back car would be moving immediately. But cell phones, make-up, daydreaming and simply not paying attention by most drivers make us all wait. This is compounded by traffic engineers who apparently don’t understand the existing technology.

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