Memo to the City of Midland

Dear City,

Have I mentioned lately that I think your $1.8 million traffic light synchronization project has yielded results that, frankly, suck?

If you've succeeded in synchronizing any lights whatsoever, they must be located in parts of town that I never travel. Or, perhaps I simply misunderstood what you meant by "synchronization." If, for example, you were aiming to make it so that people traveling south on Big Spring, starting at Loop 250, will hit five consecutive red lights (or, on a good day, four out of five), then perhaps you've succeeded.

Now, I understand that there's a break-in period, or learning curve, or additional programming, or something that must be done between installation and final configuration. You know what would be swell? If you would just tell us what's going on that's keeping the system from working. A little communication with the taxpayers would go a long way.

Perhaps I'm being too hard on the system itself. Perhaps the issue is that you, dear City, don't know how to manage expectations. I humbly suggest that in the future, when announcing expensive initiatives with impacts that are easily discerned and assessed by the citizenry, that you "under-promise" and "over-deliver." Tell us up-front that it's going to be a hard row to hoe, and to not look for improvements anytime soon. That way, any surprises are more likely to be pleasant ones.

Thanks for listening.

Your taxpaying pal,



Amen, Brother Eric.

It seemed to me that not long after the "system" was activated, it did seem to work fairly well on some stretches of Midland streets, but has disgressed to it's former self. Not long after initialization I drove on Garfield from Industrial all the way out Andrews Hwy to Midland Dr. w/o stopping once. Cool, I thought. I haven't been able to duplicate this again.

Tucson AZ is the best I've seen so far for synchronized traffic lights and it's not perfect.

It's got to depend on the time of day, traffic density, and driver awareness/courtesy also, doesn't it?

Have I ever told you about the time I drove from Shreveport to Dallas (just past the Central Expressway exchange) before I experienced a single episode of driver stupidity/lack of courtesy/unawareness?

I called my daughter to tell her that if she never heard from me again it was because I'd been somehow sucked into an alternate universe.

I wrote a comment yesterday where I suggested the mildest form of political activism. Citizens should simply call the relevant, responsible local county or municipal organization responsible for light coordination after one month if the system does not work or no explanation has been offered. After all, it is our money at work here and I suggested nothing more than what any employer would expect from a contractor.

Was it deleted?


Thanks Eric, I probably did something wrong as I input the missive. I have become somewhat paranoid these days. Sometimes here in West Texas, any opinions that digress from the status quo or, Lord forgive, creates any ripples n the pond, tend to be shunted.

Lets find something else Midland can finance with a new multi-million dollar bond isssue!!



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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on July 2, 2009 7:01 AM.

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