OK, so maybe “haunted” is not quite the proper term. But in the spirit of Halloween, I can’t resist venting about the traffic light at the intersection of Route 1 and Ridge Road. Oh, it works just fine, all right. But altogether too fine in my experience.
I’ve been plying Route 1 for years in that vicinity, and frequently use Ridge Road as a shortcut from Route 522 or to avoid the dreaded backup on 1 on most mornings. So I know from whence I speak. And this is what I’m whencing about: Why is it that no matter what time of day it is, no matter how heavy or light the traffic is, I always get stopped by that light travelling on Route 1 in either direction, and get stopped by that same light coming from Ridge Road in either direction?
Logic, common sense, the laws of probability and pure dumb luck all dictate that a fraction of the time—oh, say half the time—I should approach that light and see a welcoming green waving me through. From either road. After all, it can’t simultaneously be red facing both ways, can it? You would think, no? Ain’t happening.
Approaching Ridge Road along 1, I instinctively let off the gas and tap my brakes well before the intersection, knowing and resigned for what awaits. No question. No discussion. It is so rare to see a green light at that corner that when it does appear, it makes me sit up and consciously take note: “Wow! It does happen! Wait, full moon tonight?” And approaching that same corner along Ridge is as safe a bet as an Alabama/Army football matchup: There Will Be A Red Light There.
For those of you familiar with the northbound approach on 1, an easy explanation would be that the Ridge Road light is synced with the one at Independence Way just before it, causing commuters who slip by the first to be gleefully caught by the second. Not so fast, though. Independence Way is just a glorified parking lot exit for its glass tower residents, and the purpose of the light at that corner is give Route 1 drivers a reason to momentarily hate the selfish oaf who dared to trip it on the pretext of trying to cross the highway with his car in one piece.
So, what’s the deal here? It’s not my imagination; this bothers me to no end and irks me enough that I am more than mildly obsessed with the Haunted Light. It mocks me. It defies the very thing that defines me—logic. I really and truly don’t give a spit about losing a few precious seconds at that intersection for a good cause, such as my safety. But c’mon, let it make some sense!