How Many Traffic Lights Do You Think There Are in Maine?
I do lots of dumb thinking when I don't have to drive.
Like a lot of my generation, I have an appreciation of the old "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey" bit from SNL back in the day. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if that dude (if he was real) was just sitting around daydreaming and coming up with all those ridiculous ideas. But honestly, I'm completely susceptible to daydreamed dumbness.
A lot of the time if my wife and I are riding in the car together, she drives because she's generally terrified of the way I drive a car. So it gives me time I wouldn't normally have to observe the world around me, and begin to wonder about the most silly of things. We're all guilty from time to time
The other day, I got particularly fixated on traffic lights. Like how many do we have? Or how come they're never timed right? Why can't they ever be in places that make sense? Someone makes these decisions based on something, but it always seems to be the worst of any possible compromise, haha.
Have you ever really given traffic lights a second thought, other than to complain?
I can't say I ever had, until the other day. How do they coordinate them? Where are they made? Do they ever really work in a way that doesn't make people mad? Who takes care of them? That last one I thought I could actually answer in my mind. Obviously, it's gotta be the DOT that handles them.
That led to more silly questions in my mind about the number of traffic light repair people, and finally I wondered... How may traffic lights are there in Maine? When I looked at the Maine DOT page on the state's website, it said this:
...1072 lights, 600 control points, 155 lighting towers, 518 fixtures, 104 beacons, 33 signals and 53 dynamic signs statewide.
This represents the lights they work on, as well as ones maintained by individual municipalities. I really would've assumed it was a higher number, and maybe it is. I definitely had trouble finding out individual numbers by town. But either way, that seems to be the magic number.
For the size Maine is, it must be hard to get a decent balance. Rural, cities, and everything in between. But please, if anyone out there is listening... do something about the lights in the middle of the night. No one should have to sit at a red light at 2:00am. Pretty please?
Anyhow... I'd say to somehow make traffic lights a drinking game, but you know... drinking and driving...
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