NON-TRAFFIC MOTIVES AT TRAFFIC MEETINGS
Here are some motives people bring to traffic meetings that have nothing to do with traffic
- Officials wanted a traffic hazard to remain in place so they could continue to collect fines from violators.
- One commissioner wanted to make sure traffic continued to move past his store.
- One man complained that he had to wait for 5 minutes before the light changed. (Yep! He was driving beyond the marked
stop line, so the detector couldn't detect his car anymore. The light didn't change until someone else drove up behind
- A citizens group valued a monument more than traffic safety. All the city wanted to do was move it out of the center
of the road to a park a block away.
- Environmentalists show up with their religious belief that all private vehicles should be prohibited.
- More environmentalists show up protesting if a project will remove even one tree.
- Preservationists demand that an old building be preserved for posterity.
- Neighbors wanted the driveway to a field closed so the owner couldn't hold another rock concert there (But it's unlawful
to deny access to property).
- A woman wanted the NO PARKING paint on the curb painted a different color, because it clashed with the color of her
house (sorry, those colors are standard).
- A man from the Methodist Church wanted a traffic light put up at the intersection of two quiet streets, because,
"You put one up by the Baptist Church on Highway 40."
- A man wanted the traffic authority to deny a driveway permit for the woman next door. She kept bees and was selling
honey, and he got stung.
- A bicycle club was against upgrading the traffic lights because bicycles won't actuate
- A factory wanted the city to vacate a major road so it could expand.
- Many people go to traffic meetings and demand 15 or 20 mi/hr speed limits for their streets. But the Federal standard
says that 25 mi/hr is the lowest speed limit allowed, except on alleys, in school zones, or where special hazards exist.
- Too often, needed work is delayed until an election is near, so the officials can show the public that they are
- On the subject of STOP signs:
- Many want STOP signs put up to control speed past their houses. It doesn't work, and it's not an authorized use of
- A woman wanted STOP signs and a crosswalk put in on a high-speed road so she wouldn't have to walk 6 blocks to
cross at the light.
- A Hospital wanted a 4-WAY STOP put up at the intersection of a major road and the quiet street leading to the
hospital. They wanted it because their drivers were "using up too much work time" waiting to cross the major
- A man sued the traffic commission for not putting a STOP sign on the major street he lived on. He wanted the sign to
control the speed and noise on the major street, and he was the only one who wanted the sign.
- A man who drives through an area at night wanted a STOP sign changed to a YIELD sign, because it was inconvenient
for him to have to stop there. But during rush hour, that STOP sign is needed very much.
- On the subject of ONE-WAY streets
- Merchants are afraid that ONE-WAY streets will halve the traffic past their businesses. But a pair of ONE-WAY streets
will carry more traffic than those same two streets could carry if they were two way. They forget about the traffic they
gain from the street made ONE-WAY the other way.
- One man was against ONE-WAY streets because he suffered from arteriosclerosis. (HUH?)
- A man who had been decorated in battle in World War II was afraid to drive on ONE-WAY streets.
- One businessman protested that the ONE-WAY street his business was on was ONE-WAY in the wrong direction. Most of his
customers lived at the wrong end of the street.
- Another man wanted the ONE-WAY street he lived on reversed in direction so he could get to football games faster.
(He did not even consider that the city would have to spend millions to realign freeway ramps if the direction of the
- Many people are against ONE-WAY streets because it's too much bother to go around the block to get where they
- A bus-driver union was against ONE-WAY streets because they thought they would throw bus drivers out of work. (As it
turned out, the improved traffic flow allowed the city to run more buses each day.)
- The NAACP was against ONE-WAY streets, because when they throw bus drivers out of work, black drivers would lose
their jobs first (see previous entry).
- On the subject of truck routes:
- Those living on or near truck routes want the truck routes changed.
- Those not living near truck routes want the truck routes left alone.
- Too often, politics has more to do with the "design" of truck routes than consideration of the abilities
of large vehicles to maneuver and what their destinations are.
- A woman complained that fumes from trucks on her street stunted her trees. (Nope! There was bedrock only three
- Some people entered a picture of a cemetery into the record. They said the trucks were keeping their relatives
from resting in peace.
- Finally, here are some king-sized blunders made by traffic authorities after being besieged by citizen input of
- They made the detour around construction follow a route that kept the trucks away from most citizens. The problem was
that most of the trucks could not make a sharp turn on the detour. This caused the truck drivers to either back up and
try again several times, or to leave the marked truck routes and invade residential streets.
- Sometimes, due to citizen demands that the work be done quickly, the language in the contract becomes more important
than the actual state of the work completed. The result:
The project was originally delayed because the shipment of pipe the gas company ordered was late, due to a
- First, the contractor the state hired put down special traffic markings good for 5 years.
- Two weeks later, the contractor the city hired paved the street, covering the new markings.
- Two weeks after that, the gas company dug it all up to replace a gas main with a larger one.
- Citizens clamored to have special traffic light with an exclusive pedestrian interval installed. But when the
engineers checked up on the light, they found that most people were walking with the green light (when the DON'T WALK
was on) instead of waiting for the exclusive interval when the WALK lights were on.
- While making a street more "pedestrian friendly," they made it almost impossible for trucks to make
right turns. The turn radii are too small even if the truck uses the oncoming (left) lanes of both streets.