Busses Rule the Roads?

Every once in awhile there is incontrovertible proof that the inmates are running the asylum.

The State of Maryland has been experimenting with a new strategy for thoroughly screwing up traffic in urban areas. They have help from the advocates of mass transit.

On a pilot project basis, city busses are being equipped with devices that allow bus drivers to control traffic lights. They can extend the length of green lights if they want to "make the light", or hold the red light so they can be the first to move out into an intersection. Just think about this for a momentÄobviously no one in a position of authority in Maryland did!

Cities spend millions trying to coordinate traffic lights to reduce congestion and improve air quality. The federal government and the individual states have spent billions designing and implementing a system of uniform traffic control devices that apply equally to all highway users. Now, Maryland, one of the holdout 55 states, has decided that city busses should have privileged status. Here's a state that ostensibly holds onto the 55 mph speed limit for safety reasons about to turn traffic control over to several thousand bus drivers!

The devices in question are currently used by emergency vehicles to expedite travel to emergencies. Certainly a legitimate purpose but one that also creates no small amount of havoc on congested urban streets. The company that makes the signal manipulating devices is conspicuous in its enthusiasm for this idea.

Source: March/April 1994 NMA News

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