Letters to the Editor

Monday, Sep 09 2013 06:09 PM

Smarter traffic signals needed

It is no secret that our air is horrible. As a result, residents are being penalized with an added fee on their vehicle registration, and the pollution cops continue to regulate farmers, ranchers and trucking companies, which pay dearly.

They ask us not to idle our vehicles at schools and fine us for burning on no-burn days.

Many communities have considered outlawing drive-thrus to eliminate idling vehicles. But there's one area I have yet to see addressed at all, which would save countless gallons of fuel and unnecessary emissions.

I do a lot of driving, and one thing I've noticed time and again is "unintelligent" traffic signals. Daily, I find myself idling at a red signal, with traffic in other directions also stopped, while the light is green for non-existent traffic! I understand the concept of synchronized signals, but why does any light need to cycle to green when there is no traffic in that direction?

This doesn't have to happen when there are sensors to detect vehicles. Honestly, I wrote more complicated computer programs than that on Radio Shack TRS 80 computers back in the 1980s.

I can't believe that this topic seemingly has never been addressed. Multiply all this needless idling by the number of intersections throughout the valley and we have a serious issue.

Maybe we can use some of those extra fees to smarten up our traffic signals to improve traffic flow, save money, save fuel and reduce our air pollution.

Layne Logan
Bakersfield

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