My 3 Least Favorite Stoplights In The Rockford Area
Plus one bonus "stoplight" that I refuse to acknowledge as an actual stoplight.
Alright, the first one on the list is pictured above. Alpine and State. There's nothing inherently wrong with this intersection, it's just that it's ALWAYS busy. Rush hour? Nightmare. Noon? Avoid at all costs. I've been there at 6 AM and there have been more cars there than expected. It's a pain in all directions but the viewpoint of that picture is the worst. We've all waited for more than one light cycle to get through the intersection but turning east onto State street? Hope you packed a lunch. I've waited through 3 cycles trying to turn left here. Doesn't even matter if everyone is paying attention (they never are) this is a pain. I've taken some VERY circuitous routes just to avoid this hellhole of an intersection.
On to intersection #2
Mulford and Riverside.
This is more of a civil engineering problem than congestion issue. Let's first take a trip back in time.
About 25 or so years ago (I'm doing zero research for this blog) Mulford used to dead end at Riverside. I love the fact that Mulford has been extended north all the way to Perryville. It makes getting around so much easier.
Back then when Mulford dead-ended here, there was a double turn lane if you wanted to make a left turn. This made sense. No oncoming traffic? Double turn lane makes perfect sense.
HOWEVER!! When they extended Mulford and traffic was flowing north AND south through the intersection they kept the double turn lane and put another one in for those turning east while headed south. This makes NO sense and requires a whole extra light cycle to get everyone through. Once the Riverside traffic stops, the southbound Mulford traffic gets a green light THEN the northbound traffic gets a cycle for itself. By my math that makes the entire cycle of lights 50% longer than it needs to be. Did the civil engineers think we were so stupid we couldn't adapt to a single turn lane after decades of a double? They must have because that's the only explanation there is.
If I can get the city to change this one day, I will finally feel like my life has a purpose. That's how infuriating this is.
On to intersection #3
North Second and Riverside
I'll fully admit that this is just a personal thing with me. It actually operates pretty smoothly, especially since they started to let you turn right on red. It's just a super inconvenient light for me.
Let me explain.
Here's a little map of the area
I live in the neighborhood highlighted by the black box. I regularly take a left at that light. The problem is that the light at the intersection of Riverside and North Second is synced up with the light I use to get out of my neighborhood. If you're not the first car out of the intersection or take your time getting up to speed you will NEVER get a green light at Riverside.
There's one of those crosswalk countdown timers on the pole. If it hits 5 seconds before I've made it to Clifford I say a very bad word because I know I'm getting a red light.
Again, I realize that this is a very specific annoyance that only affects those of us that live in that neighborhood but would it kill a city worker to put an extra 5 seconds on that clock? It would mean the world to me.
Now the bonus intersection.
Highcrest and Westchester
This one just makes me laugh every time I see it (every day.) It's just so out of place in this nice little neighborhood. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with school buses since Bloom is right down the street.
Getting stopped at this light is an almost humorous occasion. Almost.
Ever been at a job where the boss' kid gets a management position right out of college? That's how I feel about these lights. You look ridiculous. I don't know why you're there. I know I should do what you say but you better believe I don't respect you.
Those are my 3.5 worst stoplights in the Rockford area. Let me know what some of yours are and maybe I can get another blog out of it.