Monday, March 15, 2010

My Town Monday: Brighton's Four Corners, part 3

The main intersection of Brighton is where Grand River and Main Street meet. Once upon a time, Main Street was called Fitch Street. Then, apparently, someone got the memo that ALL towns must have a Main Street.

In an early era, when traffic was getting too great, a "silent policeman" was installed at the intersection. I'm not entirely sure what the role of this "signal" was since it didn't have electricity or, from what I can tell, any signaling capabilities. Apparently, it was to keep traffic divided... kind of like the dashed lines in multi-lane intersections that keep traffic where it's supposed to be.

In 1989, left turns were prohibited from Westbound Main Street onto Grand River.

And, thankfully, in 2010, the traffic lights were updated to the new blinking yellow arrow for lefts (though still prohibited from westbound Main onto Grand River) to allow cars to sneak through in the rare chance when traffic is clear.

I used to watch the signal for the pedestrian crossing count down because the left light only allowed 2 cars through the light-- the 3rd had to go on the yellow. (Though, many an impatient 4th, 5th, and 6th vehicle thought that they shouldn't have to wait for the light to cycle... but that's a separate rant issue.)

This last shot is the intersection while the new lights were going up. There was, oddly, nothing in the local paper about the new interchange. In fact, there was an odd little situation where it looked like typical "expendable tax payer dollars being misspent" situation.

See, they took down the old poles with traffic lights on them and hung up the wires. Then... within a few weeks, they put up new poles with new lights. (In the pick, you can see the new lights are turned funny.) I honestly believed that it was some flub of the government where they didn't realize that they were replacing recently replaced poles. Wouldn't have surprised me any. Still don't know the whole story on why they took down the old poles, put up wires, then put up new poles.

Side note: I drive through this intersection every day on my way to work. If the light is green, my commute to work is about 3 minutes. If the light goes red, it nearly doubles my commute. Heh.

Map Note: Yes, Google Maps will try to have you make a left at the intersection from Main Street onto Grand River. Though it does tend to default to taking the side streets if the route is long enough. Which isn't much better, IMHO. As a driver in a strange place, I'd prefer to stay on main roads.

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