The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 February 2005

Green? What green?

I'm on the Northwest Distressway this afternoon, getting ready to do the turn onto Pennsylvania and then a quick duck down NW 50th, the light goes green, and one car gets through before the yellow pops up again. I hadn't floored it or anything, being as how I was the fourth in line, but I uttered a deep and dark curse against whatever Fates were responsible for this.

And then I saw it: the fire engine, in the oncoming lane, everyone else in the vicinity having been evacuated by that seemingly-random hardware malfunction.

Which answered two questions for me: "What are those traffic-signal override devices really like?" and "You think they have any of those here?"

The fire truck cleared the intersection, the green was restored, and I made my turn.

I'm not thinking these are the answers to everyone's prayers, though. Half a mile down 50th, an ambulance was oncoming, and if it was heading for that same emergency, it was going to be late; on 50th eastbound at Pennsylvania, there is no option but to turn right, unless you're prepared to jump a barrier. Now if those can be moved by remote control, I promise to be duly impressed.

Posted at 7:10 PM to City Scene


Yes - We have those here. Unsure as to which variety. There are two basic kinds: Secure, and Not. Some of the "not secure" transmitters (that actually go in the vehicle) have been seen "for sale" by certain companies ... so the next time a light suddenly flips back to red - It might be a Fire Truck ... or a Lexus.

And - most of the unsecure systems are *not* directly upgradeable. Cities would have to fork over much more money to completely replace the systems.

Funny how that works out ....

Posted by: Mel at 9:21 PM on 7 February 2005

No barrier jump needed. A right, then you hang a U to go north.

Terkish Payne, pizzaman, knows the value of hangin' illegal louies..

Posted by: Terkish Payne at 5:58 AM on 8 February 2005

Easy enough at some times of the day; less easy in the middle of afternoon rush. Still, you have to figure that someone will let the EMTs through.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:50 AM on 8 February 2005

Granted, I did the U turn with little traffic present. Then again, I didn't have a screaming siren to help me out.

Posted by: Terkish Payne at 5:24 AM on 11 February 2005