Traffic Lights Causing Short Tempers in Mobile

Traffic Lights Causing Short Tempers in Mobile

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Mobile, AL -

Ask anyone in Mobile, and they will all tell you it's no picnic driving on Airport Blvd.

"Extremely frustrating. Extremely. Horrendously," says Sandy Styburski.

Styburski wrote us an email, complaining that the lights are causing short tempers.

"You have people weaving in and out thinking they're going to beat you to the light and think they're going to get through the light and you end up beside each other. I don't know if the lights are timed right or if there's just too many people."

We went to see just how long it took us to get from the 65 interchange, all the way up to Schillinger Road.

About 17 street lights total. We had to sit through more than one cycle at a few lights.It took us a little over 22 minutes to travel about nine miles, 8.8 miles. And keep in mind, that's during lunch hour, not rush hour which is considerably worse.

The lights around town are also causing problems for those on two wheels. Jimmy Buckley says certain lights aren't recognizing motorcycles.

"Pulled up, got ready to make a left hand turn, and sat there about 30 minutes before we realized the light was not going to change," says Buckley.

Traffic officials we spoke with say cameras posted at the lights are meant to pick up the objects and trigger the light, instead of sensors picking up weight. But sometimes the sun can blind those cameras.

"And when you're sitting in the hot sun wearing a black jacket, you don't want to sit in that sun no longer than you have to," adds Buckley.

Traffic engineers told us something interesting--If you're sitting at a light that just turned red on Airport Blvd, you should only be sitting there for 210 seconds before you get a green light. It's like that during the peak hours—rush hour in the morning, lunch time and rush hour in the evening. After that, when there isn't much traffic at all, sensors take over. So if you're the only car at a light, and there isn't much traffic going through the intersection, sensors will notice you're there and give you a green light.

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