Traffic Talk: Red lights in small towns can slow travel

Don Gammill: Playing ‘Red light, green light' in the middle of the night can be frustrating, but may be necessary
by Don Gammill Published: July 29, 2013

Have you ever heard: Hurry up and slow down.

It can happen, especially if you, like me, seem to have terrible timing and come up on a stop light as it is changing to or just switched to red.

But in a small town in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, are the signal changes necessary? Maybe so, maybe no.

We recently returned from a trip out of state and noticed that the lights in the smaller towns need some updating. Left the (Will Rogers) turnpike at Big Cabin and took (U.S.) Highway 69 all the way past Durant to Calera. It was after 2:30 a.m. and there was very little traffic along the way. The most frustrating part was sitting at a red light at any number of very small one-light towns with not a soul in sight and waiting for the light to change. I timed one and it took two minutes to turn green. You don't dare stop and pull through for obvious reasons. Can't something be done — lights on timers, blinking lights or anything to speed up the process? I am sure we are not the only ones that have had this problem. I know you can't do anything about it, but maybe you could put in a good word to get something done. ... Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.


There's a lot of pavement (200 miles of it) between Big Cabin and Calera, b, and quite a few small towns along the route. I wasn't aware of that many of them having lights along U.S. 69, which is a pretty good sized road.

by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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