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Shining a light on traffic lights

I have mentioned this before, and I probably will again, but the way some of the city traffic lights operate confuses me.

OK, a ‘Push’ sign on a ‘Pull’ door also confuses me, but that’s beside the point.

I was at the corner of 15th and Ospika last week, late in the morning. I was heading west on Ospika, and the only vehicles at the intersection were mine and one headed west. The lights for north-south traffic changed to yellow and then to red (the way they’re supposed to), and my through light and the left-turn light on my side turned green.

So, there’s nobody in the left-turn lane, there is a vehicle in the eastbound through lane, and they don’t get a light? That doesn’t make much sense to me.

I also saw something on Sunday morning at the intersection of High 97 and 22nd Avenue that had me wondering. I was southbound on the highway, and as I approached the intersection with a green light facing me, I saw a vehicle in an unusual position.

He was in the northbound lanes, looking to make a left-hand turn onto 22ns Avenue, and he was out in the middle of the intersection.

At some intersections, this would not be unusual, as he was waiting for a break in the traffic to make his turn. However, this intersection has left-hand turn lights for the highway.

So I’m not sure whether he was just trying to basically sneak through a red light, or didn’t know there was a light for the left-hand turn. I can’t think of any other explanations for it, and I don’t know what happened, since the intersection passed out of my rear-view mirror vision as I rounded the corner.

I got a reminder of how much things have changed this weekend as well. I was at a local drive-through, and I just casually noticed the two vehicles in front of me using debit or credit cards for their purchases.

Nothing unusual in that these days.

As I pulled up to the window, the young woman gave me my total and reached for the card reader. She then noticed that I had real money in my hand, and put the reader back down with a bit of a smile on her face.

She said something about getting used to people paying with the machine and just getting into the habit of picking it up.

Seems to me it wasn’t that long ago the proportion of cash to card purchases, especially at a drive-through, was the other way around.

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