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Pointless red lights


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I think most people can agree on the need to conserve energy whereever possible so when I see large numbers of heavy objects being brought to a complete standstill for no reason then having to consume energy to start moving again, it gets my goat. This is a post to list those Houston traffic lights where a busy road intersects with a piddly wee street and you hit a red light and NO CARS AT ALL cross in front of you from the side street. Completely and utterly pointless.

First on the list for me has to be D'Amico at Waugh. Any others?

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This is a post to list those Houston traffic lights where a busy road intersects with a piddly wee street and you hit a red light and NO CARS AT ALL cross in front of you from the side street. Completely and utterly pointless.

First on the list for me has to be D'Amico at Waugh. Any others?

I've passed through that intersection numerous times and there's always been cross traffic.

The way most intersections are getting car detecting cameras now. Lights changing green for non-existent cross traffic should one day be a thing of the past. At least that's the way it is for the intersection of Ardmore and S. MacGregor. S. MacGregor always has the green unless a car pulls up on Ardmore.

Edited by JLWM8609
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I can only think of one or two red lights that are pointless (59 Eastex NB feeder road at Greens comes to mind). Worse, im my mind, are the pointless left turn arrows when a siimple yielding green light would be more efficient, and work better. There are too many of those to mention (do they even put yielding green lights at intersections anymore?).

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pretty much any street after 2am. there are needs for lights at most of the intersections I see, but isn't it about time that this city got sophisticated enough to have clocks in the lights, and especially on some side streets, changed them to blinking yellows, or blinking reds? big intersections, I understand, but small intersections? especially ones that are there specifically to help with traffic from offices?

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Please bear in mind that a traffic light can influence traffic at more than one intersection. Interrupting the flow of traffic on a major artery creates gaps which allow passage at other intersections, sometimes blocks away.

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I think it's the "low flow" intersection signs simply need to be upgraded/modified so that they only cycle if there's a vehicle waiting at the light. Maybe a 311 calling campaign is in order instead of simply compiling a list?

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My beef is all the unnecessary school zones. I'm all for safety for kids walking to public schools but why do we need them at all the private schools? These kids don't walk. They get dropped off in their mom's Lexus and Mercedes.

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Has anyone noticed the streetlights that give you a green light going the wrong way on a one way street.

I don't have photos but below is a streetview link to shepherd at 11th and you'll see two green lights going the wrong way. I know there is another at yale and I-10 and I am trying to remember the one that was placed right above a do not enter sign.

They have to cost something to maintain and power and they are at least an obnoxious waste of resources and at most a potential invitation to a head on collision.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=yale+at+i-10&sll=29.793747,-95.391123&sspn=0.008771,0.013754&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Yale+St+%26+W+10th+St,+Houston,+Harris,+Texas+77008&ll=29.790573,-95.409894&spn=0,0.013754&z=16&layer=c&cbll=29.790675,-95.409896&panoid=ZL6M1xP-8LRYvOcNJ1CwuA&cbp=12,178.8,,0,5

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Has anyone noticed the streetlights that give you a green light going the wrong way on a one way street.

I don't have photos but below is a streetview link to shepherd at 11th and you'll see two green lights going the wrong way. I know there is another at yale and I-10 and I am trying to remember the one that was placed right above a do not enter sign.

They have to cost something to maintain and power and they are at least an obnoxious waste of resources and at most a potential invitation to a head on collision.

http://maps.google.c...p=12,178.8,,0,5

There are several around town. I'm assuming these were put up before the streets were converted to one way. there are a few in Midtown as well and I would wish they would get removed as well.

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Willow Bend at Stella Link. Getting stuck at the westbound Willowbend signal is rediculous, especially seeing that very few cars pass north or south on Stella Link. Last time I checked the light was almost three minutes.

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14th and Yale during off-peak hours. That way all the people driving 50 and 60 mph should be able to hit 75 mph with out much worry b4 they hit 11th or 19th. Kidding of course, I do wish people would slow down but don't see the need for a light at 14th and Yale after peak... Maybe during peak too, I've never seen it during the day so can't make that call.

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Big brother is always a concern of mine and giving him more power is dangerous. However, people against these cameras are not well informed!

These cameras aren't there to watch drivers or gain more control. Wake up people! The cameras are there for the benefit of the people.

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A Texas A&M Texas Transportation Institute study found traffic crashes at red light camera locations across Texas decreased by approximately 30%. Right angle crashes, which usually produce the most deaths and injuries, dropped by 43%.

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Hmm... Intersting points. I certainly hope that the issue of red-light cameras comes to a vote, and will eagerly join millions of fellow Houstonians in voting in favor of them. The only people who are against red-light cameras are those who narcissistically believe so much in their own self-importance, they will selfishly risk innocent lives in order to save a few minutes of driving time.

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Willow Bend at Stella Link. Getting stuck at the westbound Willowbend signal is rediculous, especially seeing that very few cars pass north or south on Stella Link. Last time I checked the light was almost three minutes.

LOL. That is a long light. I ran the red turning onto Willowbend from Stella Link just 2 days ago. I never have the patience to sit for particular lights, that one included. Don't worry. If I do run a light I make sure no cars are anywhere around.  

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How many office buildings and parking garages are in that AGI complex?

And you don't think a light is needed at one of the main entrances ?

Sure it is, during the week. At the weekend there's nothing there but tumbleweeds.

Red light cameras are not pointless. They serve a valuable function and keep our streets safe. That's why Houston Police Officer's Union Endorses City of Houston Intersection Safety Camera Program.

Eh, who said anything about red light cameras?

LOL. That is a long light. I ran the red turning onto Willowbend from Stella Link just 2 days ago. I never have the patience to sit for particular lights, that one included. Don't worry. If I do run a light I make sure no cars are anywhere around.

Totally. 2am? No-one around? I'm going.....

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WTF..

I was getting ready to make fun of newbie taylor51 for not even bothering to read the topic... this isnt a thread on red-light cameras.

But he obviously has no intentions of being a real contributor to HAIF since he posted as 4 newbies in a row. Do you really think we're that dumb ?

Reported your ass

Amazing...

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Sure it is, during the week. At the weekend there's nothing there but tumbleweeds.

I initially thought you were advocating for removal of signals. Ya didn't specify.

After reading everyone's posts, I see now you probably meant better-timed red lights. If that's the case.. sure.. I would agree that the weekend setup should favor Waugh more than it is now.

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Has anyone noticed the streetlights that give you a green light going the wrong way on a one way street.

I don't have photos but below is a streetview link to shepherd at 11th and you'll see two green lights going the wrong way. I know there is another at yale and I-10 and I am trying to remember the one that was placed right above a do not enter sign.

They have to cost something to maintain and power and they are at least an obnoxious waste of resources and at most a potential invitation to a head on collision.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=yale+at+i-10&sll=29.793747,-95.391123&sspn=0.008771,0.013754&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Yale+St+%26+W+10th+St,+Houston,+Harris,+Texas+77008&ll=29.790573,-95.409894&spn=0,0.013754&z=16&layer=c&cbll=29.790675,-95.409896&panoid=ZL6M1xP-8LRYvOcNJ1CwuA&cbp=12,178.8,,0,5

The positioning of those signals doesn't suggest being remnants of being from a 2 way configuration. Otherwise, they'd be span wire mounted like the rest of the signals at the intersection. I speculate a lot of signals were placed like that back in the 50s and 60s before pedestrian signals became the norm to let pedestrians walking against traffic know that it was safe to cross. I wouldn't be surprised if it also served as another way for cops to judge whether people were running lights. They probably had a better view of that light than the light closest to them.

Worse, im my mind, are the pointless left turn arrows when a siimple yielding green light would be more efficient, and work better. There are too many of those to mention (do they even put yielding green lights at intersections anymore?).

The traffic engineer likely had a good reason for putting a left turn signal there. Things that look more efficient aren't always what they seem.

Take a look at this.

http://midimagic.sgc-hosting.com/yeltrp.htm

Often times, the COH will install left turn signals to avoid the dangerous yellow trap scenario.

Edited by JLWM8609
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Has anyone noticed the streetlights that give you a green light going the wrong way on a one way street.

I don't have photos but below is a streetview link to shepherd at 11th and you'll see two green lights going the wrong way. I know there is another at yale and I-10 and I am trying to remember the one that was placed right above a do not enter sign.

They have to cost something to maintain and power and they are at least an obnoxious waste of resources and at most a potential invitation to a head on collision.

http://maps.google.c...p=12,178.8,,0,5

My understanding is that the single lights facing the wrong direction are to keep cars (who are driving in that wrong direction) from running through intersections when their street doesn't have the right-of-way.

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Allen Parkway and Taft.

To me even more annoying than pointless red lights are streets with stop signs on every block. American traffic is like American sports - designed around stop and go movement, not continuous action.

Stop signs on every block?

Then. Maybe. You. Shouldn't. Regard. This. As. A. Through. Street.

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Allen Parkway and Taft.

Given its configuration, that's one intersection that truly needs those lights. A left from Allen Parkway onto Taft or a left from Taft onto Allen Parkway would be clusterfvck without those lights.

Edited by JLWM8609
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Allen Parkway and Taft.

To me even more annoying than pointless red lights are streets with stop signs on every block. American traffic is like American sports - designed around stop and go movement, not continuous action.

Agreed. This is the only place I have lived where at the majority of crossroad intersections not controlled by signals, ALL traffic has to come to a stop, regardless of the relative volume of traffic on each street. The stop sign halfway down Dunlavy for example, between West Gray and Westheimer. Invariably there's nothing on the intersecting two lane street (forget its name) but if you're on Dunlavy and you've built up a nice momentum, say 30 mph, sorry you have to come to a stop. And start again.

Ridiculous. Let the cars that are coming out of the side street wait for a gap in traffic (Dunlavy's generally not that busy), then pull out. 50% of those will be turns with traffic which are relatively straightforward.

I've commented on other posts about traffic circles but this thread isn't about those so I'll refrain from hijacking my own thread....

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My understanding is that the single lights facing the wrong direction are to keep cars (who are driving in that wrong direction) from running through intersections when their street doesn't have the right-of-way.

I think driving the wrong way down a one way street is pretty uncommon downtown. I could be wrong but there's just something about seeing all those cars coming toward you...

My guess is it's either for the convenience of the cops for monitoring red light compliance or for evacuation contraflow contingencies.

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Agreed. This is the only place I have lived where at the majority of crossroad intersections not controlled by signals, ALL traffic has to come to a stop, regardless of the relative volume of traffic on each street. The stop sign halfway down Dunlavy for example, between West Gray and Westheimer. Invariably there's nothing on the intersecting two lane street (forget its name) but if you're on Dunlavy and you've built up a nice momentum, say 30 mph, sorry you have to come to a stop. And start again.

Ridiculous. Let the cars that are coming out of the side street wait for a gap in traffic (Dunlavy's generally not that busy), then pull out. 50% of those will be turns with traffic which are relatively straightforward.

I've commented on other posts about traffic circles but this thread isn't about those so I'll refrain from hijacking my own thread....

This, of course, is exactly why bicyclists have the reputation for running stop signs. But I really don't want to hijack the thread to another bicycle discussion, so I will quickly get back on topic. I find the mixture of four way and non-four way stop intersections in the Montrose area to be SCARY. Especially with so much street parking. One often must pull out pretty far into the intersection to see if something is coming, and then maybe they might have a stop sign. I've lived, gone to school, and/or worked in the area for thirty years come this fall, and I still can't remember which are four way and which are not. There is certainly more traffic than there used to be and it might be worth re-evaluating some of those stop sign intersections.

Or maybe just put up a few "Cross Traffic Does Not Stop" signs.

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I think driving the wrong way down a one way street is pretty uncommon downtown. I could be wrong but there's just something about seeing all those cars coming toward you...

It is more common than you think.

Since I've mentioned in a previous thread when I went down the wrong way twice, I have done it once again. Additionally, about 15 years ago, I almost got into a head-on by some guy turning the wrong way on Shepherd.

There has been at least 5 more transgressions that I've seen since this has been discussed and on two of them they were around MMP.

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LOL. That is a long light. I ran the red turning onto Willowbend from Stella Link just 2 days ago. I never have the patience to sit for particular lights, that one included. Don't worry. If I do run a light I make sure no cars are anywhere around.  

I don't blame you. I'm now turning north onto Stella Link and doing a U-turn back to Willow Bend. Be careful running those lights, there are quite a few cops that are up and down Stella Link on a daily basis.

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Agreed. This is the only place I have lived where at the majority of crossroad intersections not controlled by signals, ALL traffic has to come to a stop, regardless of the relative volume of traffic on each street. The stop sign halfway down Dunlavy for example, between West Gray and Westheimer. Invariably there's nothing on the intersecting two lane street (forget its name) but if you're on Dunlavy and you've built up a nice momentum, say 30 mph, sorry you have to come to a stop. And start again.

Ridiculous. Let the cars that are coming out of the side street wait for a gap in traffic (Dunlavy's generally not that busy), then pull out. 50% of those will be turns with traffic which are relatively straightforward.

I've commented on other posts about traffic circles but this thread isn't about those so I'll refrain from hijacking my own thread....

I think you're talking about Fairview, which is also a thru street. In 30 years, I don't think I've ever been at that intersection when there weren't cars at all four points.

A stop sign that I think is stupid, is on Taft southbound at Pacific. I think this one is there primarily for revenue generating purposes (roll-thru tickets).

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A stop sign that I think is stupid, is on Taft southbound at Pacific. I think this one is there primarily for revenue generating purposes (roll-thru tickets).

That sign is pretty darned crucial. If you're coming in from the west, you can easily hit some yahoo heading south on Taft or the other way around.

Edited by ricco67
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I think you're talking about Fairview, which is also a thru street. In 30 years, I don't think I've ever been at that intersection when there weren't cars at all four points.

A stop sign that I think is stupid, is on Taft southbound at Pacific. I think this one is there primarily for revenue generating purposes (roll-thru tickets).

No not Fairview - further North. It's either Haddon or Vermont.

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That sign is pretty darned crucial. If you're coming in from the west, you can easily hit some yahoo heading south on Taft or the other way around.

Well yeah, but isn't almost every intersection crucial then? People can always drive stupidly and cause a wreck. Is being required to come to a Full. And. Complete. Stop. really all that necessary to road safety? As Sidegate says, other places seem to manage with fewer stop signs.

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Well yeah, but isn't almost every intersection crucial then? People can always drive stupidly and cause a wreck. Is being required to come to a Full. And. Complete. Stop. really all that necessary to road safety? As Sidegate says, other places seem to manage with fewer stop signs.

This is more so:

Going south on Taft, you have to make a jog to the right for about 30 feet before and do a left to get onto Taft proper. Heading from the west on Pacific, you have have a major blind spot on the northern end of that intersection.

Edit: Drawing didn't work.

Edited by ricco67
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I think driving the wrong way down a one way street is pretty uncommon downtown. I could be wrong but there's just something about seeing all those cars coming toward you...

My guess is it's either for the convenience of the cops for monitoring red light compliance or for evacuation contraflow contingencies.

I know Jeff Weatherford from another forum. He's a traffic engineer and is over the traffic signal department at the City of Houston. If anyone would know the answer, it would be him. I've sent him a message asking him to join HAIF and contribute to this thread. We'll see how that goes.

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I think you're talking about Fairview, which is also a thru street. In 30 years, I don't think I've ever been at that intersection when there weren't cars at all four points.

A stop sign that I think is stupid, is on Taft southbound at Pacific. I think this one is there primarily for revenue generating purposes (roll-thru tickets).

It's Vermont. I just went through it. And for the record, there were no cars on it. A total of four stopped on Dunlavy while I was there, including an enormous diesel truck.

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First on the list for me has to be D'Amico at Waugh. Any others?

How many office buildings and parking garages are in that AGI complex?

And you don't think a light is needed at one of the main entrances ?

At 7:50 on Sunday morning, it should be on blinker...or, at least, traffic trigger . It should accomodate the business traffic. It should also be there for safety of the Stages traffic.

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Well yeah, but isn't almost every intersection crucial then? People can always drive stupidly and cause a wreck. Is being required to come to a Full. And. Complete. Stop. really all that necessary to road safety? As Sidegate says, other places seem to manage with fewer stop signs.

obviously, the best solution is for people to never leave their house for fear of their own safety at the stupidity of others. tongue.gif

granted, unless you hand built your house, using materials you made yourself (including the tools) you aren't much safer there...

on a note related to the topic, I certainly think it is time that this city review their light system and the timing methods employed to make travel at all times more efficient. it would help to not only reduce our consumption of fuels, but it would help reduce our pollution and help get the EPA off our backs.

Edited by samagon
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obviously, the best solution is for people to never leave their house for fear of their own safety at the stupidity of others. tongue.gif

granted, unless you hand built your house, using materials you made yourself (including the tools) you aren't much safer there...

on a note related to the topic, I certainly think it is time that this city review their light system and the timing methods employed to make travel at all times more efficient. it would help to not only reduce our consumption of fuels, but it would help reduce our pollution and help get the EPA off our backs.

Agreed. Ever since Mayor White tried to alter the timing, it has gone to hell. Considering we have talked about it on another thread before, Downtown has gotten horrible.

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Agreed. Ever since Mayor White tried to alter the timing, it has gone to hell. Considering we have talked about it on another thread before, Downtown has gotten horrible.

I remember the old saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", and Mayor White fixed the hell out of downtown's lights. :rolleyes:

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Agreed. Ever since Mayor White tried to alter the timing, it has gone to hell.  Considering we have talked about it on another thread before, Downtown has gotten horrible.

Actually I found out if you can maintain a speed of 85 mph you can make the majority of the lights downtown. 

:rolleyes:

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I know Jeff Weatherford from another forum. He's a traffic engineer and is over the traffic signal department at the City of Houston. If anyone would know the answer, it would be him. I've sent him a message asking him to join HAIF and contribute to this thread. We'll see how that goes.

I am anxious to see what the city says. I drove by the one at Yale and I-10 leading you the wrong way and I cannot think of a reason that that light could be useful.

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