Monday, April 20, 2009

A New Traffic Control Light Tree Grows in Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons - Fancy News

Here comes more urban street furniture! Brand-spankin'-new automatic traffic lights are being installed in fully one third of the controlled intersections in town (there are all of three intersections that have the full complement of red, yellow and green traffic lights here in Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons).

Springfield's other finest, our fine road crews, are not participating in this excellent development, but rather "East Coast Signals" has been contracted by the city to make the changes, and the company is hard at work today at the intersection of Main and Summer streets, placing the nicely detailed black posts that will support the horizontal arms and array of twenty-first century automated traffic lights, all fitted into the smart black box filled with electronic wizardry on the corner (where the repairs from last years eminently avoidable fire proceeds apace). The new posts are a nice complement to the Victorian feel of the black street lamps, many of which survived the street repairs that began last year along Main Street.

Crowds gather to enjoy the fine Spring weather and watch the hub-bub.

Here, beside what should be a sufficiently obvious sign cautioning drivers to yield to pedestrians, one can see the nice match between the classical fluting of the street light and the corrugations of the shaft of the support for the traffic light - a structural detail that adds strength to the post as well as style.

Here an able technician from East Coast Signals seats the bolts.

Word is that there is a betting pool being formed even now, to see who will be first to go nuts listening to the incessant beeping (the audio signal is allegedly meant to be an assist to the visually impaired, but how it can be that such a monotonous repetition can help anyone distinguish the succession of changes from green to yellow and to red and back is anyone's guess) - luckily the rumored secret traffic cameras will very likely record that historic moment, as well as recording the occasional self-important driver running the lights! This should prove interesting, not only to the driver in the aforementioned yellow vehicle, but also to the one out of three out-of-state drivers who enjoy blasting through at full tilt.

Yes indeed, the town is fairly abuzz with excitement at the thought that finally there will be a more prominent effect of control at this very busy intersection, a favorite with scofflaws who seem to enjoy making illegal turns on red (like at least one local driver in their yellow vehicle), or who simply enjoy driving right straight through red lights with an entirely serene sense of entitlement and joy, scaring pedestrians, annoying other drivers, and otherwise contributing to unnecessary chaos, here in sunny downtown Springfield, Vermont, City of Lights.