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San Diego to invest (finally) in modernizing stop lights

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Hey, we are a ‘lifestyle’ magazine, right? And there is absolutely nothing that infringes on one’s lifestyle as much (read pissing one off), than sitting in traffic lights that are ill-timed.  With all the focus on ‘going green’, the fact that getting a green light, only to move a few blocks and stop again and sitting at idle is the single most energy-waster and pollution creator in the free world. I have often (too often according to my wife) ranted about the fact that a little technology could solve this problem if the pencil-necked politicians in government would address it.

Well, kudos to the pencil-necks! City officials recently announced they have created a $163 million master plan to install modern stoplight timing systems and other advanced technologies that is aiming to address this issue on San Diego’s roads, create a smoother flow of traffic and combat gridlock. The 10-year plan would connect each of the city’s 1,540 stoplights into a coordinated network, with a central hub controlling their timing and coordination.

The master plan, the first of its kind in city history, follows recent analysis by the San Diego Association of Governments which showed that the number of vehicles on the road had nearly returned to where it was before the 2008 Recession. The timing is also tied in with many neighborhoods facing more and more development to absorb the region’s growing population. Hey, $163 million may seem like a huge number, but when compared against the alternative costs and environmental damage of the process of widening roads etc. it is by far the best alternative.

Now if they can just get those folks who are driving 50 miles-per-hour in the fast lanes of the freeways to get a freakin’ clue, all would be right with the world.

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