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Should Utica Traffic Lights Just Blink at Night?

Ever get stuck at a red light where there’s absolutely no traffic around?  Seems silly to sit there, all alone, just because the light and the law say you have to.  One former local TV news anchor has a proposal to change the rules, so drivers can save time and gas — and maybe even their own lives.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Maureen Green, formerly from Syracuse/Utica CBS affiliate WTVH, says traffic in downtown Syracuse is all but nonexistent late at night.  For years, she drove home from work after anchoring the 11:00pm news and says she recalls having to stop for the same red lights every night, even though there was no other traffic to be seen.

Not only do you waste time and gas sitting there, she points out, but if you’re alone in the car, you could be prime target for an attacker, waiting in the darkness for someone to pull up to that light.

In a column published today, Green recommends the city reprogram most lights so they go to “blink mode” at night.  With blinking lights, some traffic wouldn’t need to stop at all, and cross-traffic would only stop long enough to make sure the path is clear, just like a stop sign.

Here in Utica, many of the lights along Genesee Street have been reprogrammed to facilitate a smoother ride… do you think there are any other intersections where you think the red lights need to be shorter or taken away altogether?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

[Syracuse Post-Standard]

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