I've lived in Western New York all of my life.  I've been driving since I was 16 and I'm not going to even bother telling you how long that's been.  Let's just say it's been a while.  And for many years I've always maintained that the traffic lights in the City of Buffalo are not meant to control traffic, they're meant to stop traffic.  Almost to the point of impeding traffic.

If I can I try to avoid using city streets because it's such a hassle. The condition of so many streets is one thing....and maybe a story for another day.  The biggest headache for me is constantly having to stop at red lights.  You can be waiting at one red light and look ahead to the next light and see that it's green, but by the time the light you're waiting at turns green and you approach the next one you're going to have to stop again.

On occasion I give Delaware Avenue a try on my way home and when I do I always ask myself why.  So this week I decided to count the number of traffic lights along Delaware from Niagara Square north to Kenmore Avenue.  And at the same time count the number of times I had to stop.  I tried to stay as close to the posted speed limit of 30 mph as possible so as not to skew the result.

There are 29 traffic lights along the route.  My trip didn't start very well.  I had to stop at the first four lights I came to.  And each time as I looked ahead the next light was green and sure enough it was red when I got to it.  On this particular day the result wasn't as bad as I thought it would be....I had to stop at 14 of the 29 lights.  A trip of just over five miles took 21 minutes.  That averages out to about 15 mph.

Over the years the lights I always seem to have to stop are at West Delevan,  Nottingham, Amherst, Great Arrow, Linden, Hertel, Tacoma and Hinman.  Glory be, Amherst and Tacoma were green for me this time.  By far, the lights north of Delaware Park are the toughest to get thru.  And that's always the most aggravating stretch.

It was at least 10 years ago that the city stated it was hiring someone to do a study on how to better regulate traffic signals in the city and to actually synchronize the signals so that if you kept a consistent speed, preferably 27 or 28 mph you could hit a steady string of green lights.  If they paid someone to do this project they should demand a refund.

There's only two streets in the city that I know of that have synchronized signals and they consistently work well.  It's about a one mile stretch of Oak and Elm Streets in downtown Buffalo.  Is there any reason why most major streets in the city can't work as well?

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