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Tuesday, December 1, 2015



     So I was reading a couple pages west of here that due to the amount of traffic on Route 139, the town has voted to erect a traffic light near the Somers High School. We had the same problem when I was growing up, and in order to help alleviate the situation, I generously opted not to show up at my High School all that often. This resulted in me graduating with a 1.7 grade point average. In my defense I think that number was on a scale of 100, not 1,000 like you were thinking.

     The New York Department of Transportation decided that a traffic light would be the best option, better than redesigning the entrance to the school, better than constructing a roundabout on Route 139, and better than unleashing a bunch of teenagers with a 1.7 GPA.

     They discussed the rotary for a while at the town meetings, and they went around in circles on that . The Fire Department said that it would hamper its ability to respond to calls quickly, and I would have to agree with them. The fire engine is so long that if it missed the exit the first time around, the front end might pass the back end and the truck could end up at two different locations.

     If they do put a signal 139, I hope they will have enough sense to run it as a flashing yellow light when school is not in session. There are so many annoying traffic lights now it makes me want to pull my hair out. Well, not mine but yours. The worst is the traffic signal on Route 100 at Route 134. You could drive up to that light at 4:00 in the morning, and it waits until you take your eyes off it to adjust the radio, then turns red before you can do anything about it. I try to pull up to it quickly so that it will "see" me, turn green and let's all get on with our lives. But no, it's busy making all its nowhere plans for nobody. I have to wait for a green arrow on the other side, where no one has made a left turn since 1956. By this time even raccoons are laughing at me, and one of them even made a left turn to mock me.

     Now is a good time to go over the responsibilities of the driver when approaching a traffic signal. If the light is green, proceed at normal speed. I do not recommend that you speed up on the off-chance that the light might turn yellow. If the light is yellow, slow down and prepare to stop. Do not speed up even faster than you were going when you sped up at the green light, on the off-chance that the light might turn red. If it's a red light, come to a stop. Don't roll slowly up to the intersection preparing for the off-chance that the light will turn green, then have to suddenly jam on the brakes if it doesn't. I guarantee this will cause an even bigger fight with your wife than refusing to stop for directions.

     By the way, if your wife is always mad at you for not stopping for directions, I offer this compromise that I sometimes use. I roll down the window and ask a local resident for directions, but I don't actually stop the car, so I can usually hear the first couple of turns before the voice drifts off into the rear-view mirror, then I repeat the process a few times so I don't have to ever admit I broke the long-standing male code of ethics.

     If you're ever behind me on my way to the train station, you'll notice that I slow down six different times in order to let stopped cars through ahead of me. This is not because I am extremely polite, although I did hold the door open for a lady recently. It was a revolving door and it resulted in minor injury, but the thought was there. It's for self-preservation. If we don't band together and let each other through, we will end up with a traffic light at the end of EVERY STREET.

     There will be a speed bump in your garage and a four-way stop sign at the end of your driveway. And if that doesn't work maybe a FIVE-way stop sign. I only know one way to stop, so don't get me started.

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