Archive for Red Lights

Law of the Urban Jungle…..Traffic Lights

Posted in Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2012 by urbannight

There is NEVER a red light when you need one.

Okay, I suppose this holds true in rural and suburban jungles as well.  But it is more than just a matter of perception.  The perception being that you really want the red light so if feels like you never get one.  That, in truth, you still get the same ratio of red to green as always.  I disagree.  I know because I’ve counted.

I have a habit of counting things and once I get started, it is sometimes hard to stop.  I spent months counting red and green lights as I drove too and from work.  I did it again after moving to Nebraska.  My less than scientific findings were the same.  On average, it’s about 50/50.  If there are an odd number of lights, that odd one is more likely to be red than green.  Occasionally, it may be more 52/48.  But really, it’s pretty even. 

Unless you really want a red light.  The light was either green, just changing to green as I approached, or red and as soon as I came to an almost-stop it turned green.  So, for all intent and purposes, there were no red lights.  Because I’m weird that way, I count lights again.  And every time I realize I need a red light, as soon as I make that realization, the red lights stop.  From that moment on its green all the way.

I wouldn’t mind knowing what force controls this phenomenon.  It defies logic.  It should not possible.   It is violating its own statistical nature.  But it happens.  I’ve proven it repeatedly from practical experience.  I do not doubt its veracity at this point.  I envision Terry Pratchett style personification of Fate or Chance or Lady Luck sitting at a giant monitoring station.  Key phrases are programmed into a thought monitoring system.  “Dang it, did I leave that at home, please let me get a red light so I can check,” or any variation on that phrase will ping for her attention.  She will throw a switch and, from then on, green lights rule the road.

No Not Honk At Me

Posted in Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2011 by urbannight

Do NOT Honk Your Horn at Me!

There is no law saying you MUST make a right turn on red. If the road is clear, and you came to a complete stop, you may make a right turn on red, but you are not obligated to do so.

If you are a bit preoccupied in the morning, and have something on your mind, and you stop at the red light and wait until the green, you are completely following the law and are not likely to cause an accident. (This was me this morning)

Now if you start honking your horn it does not make me go. It pisses me off. Some countries are aware of this reaction, and the fact that it is the most common reaction, and have actually passed laws against honking your horn at other drivers. If you honk your horn at me, I will most certainly wait for the light to turn green.

Now if you get pissed off because I am following all traffic laws to the exact letter and decided to pull around me and make a right hand turn around me on a red light, I believe that is actually an illegal move. (This was mister black car NE plate RVN (?) 797 [I think it was an N because after a while I realized I was repeating RV9 797 and that’s the only letter I can think off that would morph into a 9])

You are in fact the one who is more likely to get into an accident, or more properly, be the cause of an accident with some poor unsuspecting fellow.

Of course, I may be a little passive aggressive in not making a right on red if I don’t have to and someone it honking at me to do so. But this is Omaha and the city is notorious for bad driving.

Near work, there is a left turn lane that is for buses only. But cars use it all the time. Right in front of cop cars. The cops do nothing. When there is road construction and there is a ‘no left turn’ sign at the intersection, people completely ignore it on constantly turn left. The cops do nothing.

When you sit at an intersection and the light turns green for you to go straight across, you have to wait for between 2 and 6 cars still making left turns through the intersection. This city has more people running red lights than in any city I’ve ever lived or visited. You are driving down a busy, four lane road (in one direction) and someone in the far left lane decides he or she needs to make a right turn and does so, cutting off the other three lanes of oncoming traffic.

Lets not even talk about rain and snow. Okay, maybe I will. Rain seems to mean, “Speed up to get where you are going and out of it as quickly as possible.” You get to work and listen to the radio and hear of all sorts of accidents.

Winter is even worse. Every time it snows, it’s like Omahans have to totally relearn how to drive in the snow.

Every – Time – It – Snows.

Not each winter, each snow fall.

I’m from the mountains in North Idaho . At the first snow fall, I have to get the feel for it that one time. Then I’m good all winter long. I learned lots of tricks and methods to deal with getting around corners and getting unstuck and so on.

Most work better with a stick than with an automatic. Manuals are so much better for snowy areas than automatics yet for some reason, most people around here don’t drive them and when I had to replace my car with a used one, I couldn’t find a single used stick at all.

Well, I suppose this is the end of my rant. Time to go.