Running Red-lights

For the record, I am a conservative driver and have a clean driving record. In my 20 years of driving history, I have never got a speeding or other driving violation ticket.

In the last 2-3 months, I run the red-light twice in Woodbury. I didn’t want to, but I felt I had no choice.

The most recent incident happened around 10:30 am on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. I drove from Currell Boulevard to Valley Creek Road. I needed to make a left-turn or U-turn at Valley Creek and Bielenberg intersection to go home near Woodbury Drive.

As I turned right from Currell Boulevard to Valley Creek Road, I noticed a USPS mail truck made a U-turn at Valley Creek and Bielenberg intersection while the light was red. It surprised me. Since I had bad experiences (long waiting) at that intersection, I wasn’t totally surprised.

Now it was my turn to wait at the same intersection. I waited and waited, saw the lights on the other sides turning from green to red and from red to green 2-3 times, but my left-turn light stayed red unchanged. Finally after waiting for a while, I lost patience. I didn’t know whether the light was in or out of order. So I decided to follow suit and made a U-turn when there was no cars coming from the opposing side.

Several weeks ago I had another running red-light experience at the intersection of Bailey Road and Pioneer Drive. I was leaving East Ridge High School and needed to cross Bailey to go straight on Pioneer Drive. But the red light won’t change, even thought the lights on Bailey changed 2-3 times.

I didn’t know what’s wrong with the traffic lights. Do other residents in Woodbury run into similar problems with red-lights?

The current traffic signal pattern is another thing I do not like.

At busy intersections such as Woodbury Drive and Valley Creek Road or Woodbury Drive and Hudson Road, the traffic signal pattern used to be simple and predictable – left turns first and then straight traffic on opposing sides. It was efficient in my opinion.

Then about 2 or 3 years ago the traffic signal pattern changed. Now it seems unpredictable and inefficient to me. Instead of having left-turns go simultaneously in both directions, the traffic from one direction goes first. The other left-turning vehicles have to wait their turn at the end. Since I have to wait longer for my left-turns, I do not like the new traffic signal pattern.

I wish we had more roundabouts and more flashing yellow lights in Woodbury. I think they are more efficient. They could save some time and frustration from unnecessary or long waiting at intersections.