December 19, 2013

Letter to the editor: Reasons for traffic changes not clear at a lower level

Who are the geniuses in charge of the traffic division in Portland? I’m not being sarcastic. These people must think on a higher level than the rest of us.

For years, Portland commuters have been astounded by what first appears to be a stunning lack of a grasp of the concept of staggering traffic lights.

Anyone who has tried to enter Congress Street from Forest Avenue during the afternoon knows that there must be a purpose to having to wait for seven or eight traffic light cycles to move. Only a genius aptitude could see the overlying plan.

And recently, these same people have eliminated travel lanes on outer Congress Street to and from the Maine Mall, opting for more turning lanes for the one out of 20 drivers who would turn, say, at Stroudwater/Westbrook Street, forcing the through drivers into one lane and backing their particular line of traffic all the way past the Elks Club.

Now they have, in their genius, concluded that on Park Avenue, traveling west, the through drivers should be backed up into and beyond the intersection at Park and Mellen streets.

What is the higher purpose of these decisions? Perhaps to toughen us all up for the coming apocalypse?

Whenever I have asked other drivers what the possible reasons for these changes are, the common response has been, “To increase road rage.”

That seems to be the only reason that us lesser mortals can come up with. This can’t be the answer. Can it?

J.T. Nichols



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