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« Insert lawyer joke here | Main | Good news from Raleigh »

Jul 24, 2007

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Bubba

"I'm used to seeing unmarked vehicles, but that's deep cover."

All the more reason for drivers to know what to look for and how to be aware and prepared for all circumstances when driving.

Eric

Better yet, how about obeying the speed limit/traffic laws and not having to worry about the unmarked police cars.

Ed Cone

That's what's so unnerving. We've all learned to look for unmarked big Chevys, Mustangs, etc...but when it's down to minivans, well, you have expanded the watchlist to just about every car on the road.

jw

That's a new concept for around here! Watching out for other cars. How different. I hope it catches on.

What's next? Using turn signals?

Lex

IIRC, years ago the feds were insisting that states crack down on speeding or losing highway money. Maryland, one of the most lenient states, began cracking down, in part by using police garbage trucks.

Eric

Again, what's the rush. Why speed down Battleground Ave. or any other major or minor road just to get to the next stoplight or stop sign. An extra 10 to 15 miles per hour really doesn't save much time when you're only going a distance of 5 miles.

Fec Stench

Nevertheless, Battleground raceway remains a cacophony of revving engines and squealing tires. I'm for speed bumps.

Roch101

Many of the traffic lights in Greensboro, including segments of Battleground Ave are timed so that once you have a green light, you will continue to hit green lights if you drive the speed limit. Speed and you'll get to the next light before it has turned green.

At some intersections, a change from red to green is triggered by senors under the road. I've grown to be a patient driver, but one of my remaining frustrations is getting behind a driver who has stopped his car well short of the white line--too short to trigger the sensor. Pull all the way up to the white line and the light will change faster. (Stop too short and the light may never change until someone in another stopped lane hits the white line.)

jw

"I've grown to be a patient driver," Maybe I oughtta give that a try.

"...one of my remaining frustrations is getting behind a driver who has stopped his car well short of the white line--too short to trigger the sensor."

I saw that happen with a motorcycle once. After sitting through 3 cycles of lights, I put my car in park, got out, walked up to the sensors, and jumped up and down them. THEN the light changed. So that just shows...hey...wait a minute. That's not good!

Fec Stench

Hilarious, jw. Roch, much of the action I described comes from entry and exit of Krispy Kreme and Cookout. And the foolishness at Biscuitville in the morning is crazy.

Bubba

Many of the traffic lights in Greensboro, including segments of Battleground Ave are timed so that once you have a green light, you will continue to hit green lights if you drive the speed limit. Speed and you'll get to the next light before it has turned green.

Roch101

Thanks for the tip, Bubba.

Bubba

My last post got truncated in the posting....here's the full version.

"Many of the traffic lights in Greensboro, including segments of Battleground Ave are timed so that once you have a green light, you will continue to hit green lights if you drive the speed limit. Speed and you'll get to the next light before it has turned green."

Not true if you're heading south on Lawndale, at the light for the intersection where Lawndale and Battleground meet.

If you don't move off the light in an expeditious manner when it turns green, and accelerate quickly enough, you will be stopped by the light at Pembroke turning red.

Move off the light quickly and accelerate up to speed quickly, and you will make it through ALL the subsequent lights until well past the Wendover overpass.

For some reason, the traffic engineers have yet to figure out that a minor tweak of the system would eliminate the impediment.

Dave Dobson

This might be relevant.

Roch101

"If you don't move off the light in an expeditious manner when it turns green, and accelerate quickly enough, you will be stopped by the light at Pembroke turning red."

Yes, that's true. I travel that block often. One needs to gun it off the light and get up to about 45 MPH as quickly as possible to make the green light at Pembroke. (Which I never do, of course.) You're right, Bubba, another 10 seconds of green on the light at Pembroke would be a great improvement for motorists coming into town on Battleground.

And two blocks north, when crossing Battleground from the east on Cornwallis, that sign that says "Do not block intersection" -- why isn't that understood?

Danny Wright

And to follow on the above post, if you are heading south on Lawndale and are at the Cornwallis light at the front of the pack when it turns from red to green -- and if you have, say, a Porsche 911 Turbo, you could probably beat the Battleground light too. Unfortunately, in my vehicle, whenever the Cornwallis light turns green, I look ahead at the green light on Battleground that is just sitting there taunting me, knowing that in about 5 seconds it is going to go red, and I think bad thoughts.

In all of my experiences going from the Battleground to the Pembroke light, I have found that I have to be at the front, and I have to move quite "expeditiously" to make it.

As for undercover police, when I was in high school I was stopped by a police office in a silver Airborne Express pickup truck, and on a different note, I have a former neighbor who used to allow (actually offer to) the police to sit in his partially obstructed driveway to nab speeders in a 25 mph residential zone.

Roch101

Ooops, that sign is actually at the intersection of Cornwallis and Lawndale.

Funny toon, Dave.

Bubba

"And to follow on the above post, if you are heading south on Lawndale and are at the Cornwallis light at the front of the pack when it turns from red to green -- and if you have, say, a Porsche 911 Turbo, you could probably beat the Battleground light too."

Not good enough.

It's gotta be a top fuel dragster.

Ed Cone

Great cartoon, DD.

"Do not block intersection" is not a well-understood concept in this town, signs or no signs (kind of like "Slower traffic keep right" on US highways).

Blocking the box, as the signs call it in NYC, is especially bad at Cornwallis and Lawndale, because of the truncated "landing area" between lights at Lawndale and Battleground, and the volume of cars trying to turn west from Lawndale onto Cornwallis.

Also a problem at some downtown intersections.

Another peeve: people who think right on red gives them the right to swing out into oncoming traffic at any time...

Danny Wright

I used to have both a small Honda civic and a 1979 Ford F150 long-bed with a loud Cleveland 351 block engine and big gnarly tires. The right-on-red into my lane used to always happen when I was in the Civic, never Big Red.

Other intersections that I find inexplicably maddening:

1. Pisgah Church east across Yanceyville -- no matter what, the light always seems to be red when I come around the corner to the intersection.

2. The length of time given to people on Benjamin at the Holden Road intersection -- I know it has something to do with the Battleground/Cone-Benjamin intersection but still.

3. The wait on the Lawndale off-ramps to get onto Cone.

4. The worst two of all are in Winston (encounter these during the academic year): First, the light at Reynolds Boulevard and RJR always favors the parking lot over a 4-lane divided road with 45 mph speed limit. Rarely can you make it through the green phase unless you just have blind luck on your side. No doubt politics and economic incentives play a role there. Second, just before that (or after, depending on your direction) the Reynolds / Cherry Street intersection near the University-Cherry merge has literally a 2-2 1/2 minute wait if you are on Reynolds.

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