I am beginning to memorize the sequence of these lights. I seem to have figured out the interval when the other turns on and when the other turns off. In a matter of three days I have observed the exchange of green, amber, and red along with the number drivers who made their own share of embarrassing moments while stuck clueless in the middle of this road intersection just a few meters away from our building. This has become my personal entertainment whenever I take a sanity break from the blinding desktop monitor and the nauseating call recordings.
Social media have exposed lots of bad drivers, thanks to the popularity of dashcams and their equally eager owners who either would have the clean intention of correcting a mistake or just have their own share of viral videos no matter how trivial it is. Whatever the intent may be, in the right hands, all these are data that could be used to improve our road conditions and eventually the flow of traffic. But is technology friend or foe?
The answer depends on whom you are asking. Try the drivers who have fallen victims to what I’ve started to call the Nuvali trap. The intersection in this area has a configuration wherein there is a wide channelization island. According to Massachusetts Department of Transportation, these islands are meant to control traffic or provide pedestrian refuge especially in a busy crossing. Those who know how Nuvali would get packed with cyclists, runners, motorists, and pedestrians and sleepy call center agents during the peak hours would understand the importance of these channelization islands.
For more than five years, this particular intersection never had a traffic light. Flow of traffic was mutual. The sign We Share The Road At Nuvali was more than enough. Traffic incidents were confined to fender benders as far as I’m concerned. But this popular weekend venue would soon get busier than before. Installing traffic lights therefore becomes a must. And this is when the awkward moments start to happen.
Drivers prematurely stopping at this intersection have been common since they activated the traffic lights. It’s easy to blame driver’s competency or even the corrupt LTO. Or even Duterte just to spark fire with the trolls. But I would understand any driver who points a finger at the presence of the wide channelization island as the factor to the Nuvali trap. The width of the islands gives the perception that the driver faces another red light and needs to stop even if just a second ago he came from a legit left turn. Trust me, the dilemma to cross or not is real.
I know this for a fact because I made the same booboo which is the very reason I’ve been frequenting the smoking area even if I neither smoke nor vape just so I could observe if I’m alone in this embarrassing moment or not. I’ve checked my Facebook and thankfully none has posted a video of a confused bald driver somewhere in Nuvali. Thanks to you SUV driver who flashed your headlight behind me as if you were having diarrhea. Now I understand. Please accept my apologies. Blame the Nuvali trap.
Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Stuffs we left in the US have arrived.)