Left Green Arrows...
I guess I have more to add to the green arrow discussion below. FatAsianJewishBaby commented on the concept of '2 car lights', basically when a green arrow in atlanta allows 2 and only 2 cars to proceed safely through the intersection. this does not mean that there arent 2-3 drivers behind the safe 2 that decide their balls are strapped in and they can gun it for dear life.
i have kinda had a longstanding conspiracy theory regarding this phenomenon. here it is.... have you ever noticed that when an intersection is extremely busy, the left arrow is absurdly short for the line of cars. and other times, late at night, the green arrow is completely unnecessary and you dig your fingernails through the steering wheel in frustration? also, how about if you usually always land on a short green left arrow and the one time you are going straight, the left arrow is abnormally long? same intersection, same traffic, totally irregular left arrow light.
before wikipediaing this concept, i thought that some intersections probably just had timers and other busy ones had all sorts of sensors. also based on my SimTower ixxperience, elevators in buildings have rush hour express service as well as normal day-to-day service... i figured street lights would also be adjusted based on rush hour traffic times. i, of course, was 100% correct.
"It is also commonplace to alter the control strategy of a traffic light based on the time of day and day of the week, or on other special circumstances (such as a major event causing extra traffic through an intersection)."
ok so here is where the conspiracy theory in me comes in. i think that the reason lights randomly have long and slow cycles at completely innappropriate times is because the nerdy programmers who were writing the code for the timing devices didnt maintain the AM/PM bit in their calculations. as a result, i think that when lights reset, like if the power goes off, they reset to the wrong time of day and have really fast green arrows at 9 AM and really slow arrows at 9 PM. if the programmers had built some kind of device to synch up the circuit time with the actual time, none of these random superfast green arrows would ever happen. it all comes down to these trekkies cutting cpu costs by leaving out one bit, ala the Y2K scare... only this time, the timers on the lights are affected every storm that this wonderful city has to offer.
since most blog traffic is full of dorky people, i'm sure someone else has a different or better theory regarding this concept?
for the record, i also think that sometimes the reason has nothing to do with the timers or the sensors fucking up. sometimes its people who dont have fulton or dekalb on their licenses going 5 mph through a green left arrow because they are just the worst fucking drivers in general and this slow paced not thinking about anyone behind you just the people in front of you mentality is fucking up the rest of the normal drivers' universes. i mean come on, weve all been waiting at the light forever.... including the guy 6 cars back. ATLIENS.... GUN IT THROUGH THE INTERSECTION! STOP DRIVING 80 ON THE HIGHWAY AND 20 ON THE SIDE STREETS.
whew, i worked up half a pack of rolaids with that rant. comments and complaints are always accepted.