Frozen Traffic LightsOctober 19, 2011 | in You don't see that everyday!
Blizzard conditions in Central Texas are not really an everyday experience. However, in the most recent blizzard to strike the Abilene, TX area, I ran into an interesting problem.
A good number of the traffic lights in Abilene are controlled by vehicle sensors — a great idea, if you ask me! However, on this particular day, there was a thick layer of ice over major surface streets. I had to get into work to deal with the fallout of some major power outages, so I hopped in my 4×4 and braved the storm. Upon arriving to one particular traffic light, I stopped. I waited. And I waited. I checked the clock to make sure I wasn’t exaggerating the time, and 5 minutes had passed. I could’ve easily run the light — there wasn’t another car in sight. But icy conditions are not the greatest time to run a redlight (as if there is one!) In a moment of inspiration, I noticed there were pedestrian crossing buttons at the intersection. After making sure nobody was approaching to my rear and turning on my flashers, I put the truck in park, got out, walked over to the button, pushed it, and rushed back into my warm vehicle. Less than 30 seconds later, the light was green, and I was on my way!
Gives new meaning to the idea of a frozen traffic light!