I was reading columnist Rod Watson's opinion piece in Thursday's (9/7/17) Buffalo News and it sounded so familiar.  He was speaking about how maddening it can sometimes be just traveling Buffalo streets because of the near certainty that you won't get far before having to stop for a red light.  I have always said traffic signals in Buffalo aren't meant to control traffic, they're meant to stop traffic.  It's always been that way and nothing has changed.

Elm and Oak Streets downtown are the only two streets I know of where if you keep your speed at just under 30 mph you'll be able to catch green lights.  It was nearly 10 years ago when a city official was asked why the signals on more streets couldn't be coordinated so that traffic could flow smoothly.  The answer was that they were working on it.  And apparently they're either still working on it or they just gave up.

On Delaware, on Main, on Elmwood, on Niagara, name a street - it really is maddening to be stopped at a red light and when you glance down the road to the next signal it's invariably green. When your red light turns green the next one turns red.  It's nothing but starts and stops along the city's major streets.  Is it really that hard to coordinate them?

Google Maps
Google Maps

The intersection of Main Street and Depew Ave. in north Buffalo just baffles me.  It seems to favor traffic on Depew rather than the more heavily traveled Main Street.  Every time I travel down Main I have to stop at Depew Avenue and when I searched it on Google Maps, sure enough it was red for Main Street.  Often there are no vehicles coming from the side street and no pedestrians are crossing - it's just a little break for drivers after their long journey from the previous red light.

Rod Watson mentioned my post from last year Welcome to Buffalo, NY - Prepare to Stop where during a routine trip along Delaware Avenue from downtown to Kenmore Ave. there were 29 traffic signals and I had to stop for 14 of them.  That actually was a pretty good day.  But anybody that uses Delaware on a regular basis knows you're almost always going to have to stop at North Street, West Delevan, Forest Avenue, Nottingham Terrace, Amherst Street, Great Arrow, Linden, Hertel, Tacoma, Avery, Hinman and Kenmore.  If I'm able to catch a green light at any of those cross streets I feel like I've won the lottery.

Rod Watson mentioned his frustration just traveling a couple of blocks around downtown Buffalo.  I often think you could walk anywhere downtown just as fast.  I'm really glad I'm not the only one who's irritated by Buffalo's backward traffic control system.

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