I have watched and read with interest all the concern and news recently about transportation, timeliness and accidents in Bismarck. Perhaps some thoughts from an outsider but longtime driver in our fair city could help.
I have been interested enough, for quite some time, to conduct my own survey as to traffic movement problems. In my recent survey I asked 100 people just what those red, green and yellow lights at our intersections are. Maybe surprising enough, or not, not one of those 100 people asked, identified them as traffic control lights or go lights. Actually 7,283 of those 100 asked claimed they were “stop lights” Huh? Pretty much my observation over 20 odd years in sales throughout the community, we are ruled by “stop lights.”
They are identified as “stop lights” because that is what they do, at every intersection where they are placed, they stop us. Those “stop lights” create tensions, burn additional gasoline and create global warming. Maybe if we placed a tourist information booth or a coffee kiosk at each stop their function would seem more wonderful.
Truly if those “stop lights” could be set to control traffic, so that driving the speed limit would ensure your steady and assured progress to your destination, those lights would stop being run when they turn yellow and you wouldn’t be tempted to test your car's acceleration from zero to 50 just to make the next light.
You know, timing our “stop lights” to allow traffic flow and cut down on accidents might save a buck and a life rather than costing us a cool few million to redevelop our roadways.
Mark Griffin, Bismarck