Long lights, large city

One difficulty of urban living that I’ve noticed is the stoplights around here are often on really long timing cycles. And with major artery roads crossing every which way, it’s very difficult not to cross several of them, say, on a run. Because the walk signs have count-down timers, I know that typical cycle times are 45-65 seconds, which, when you are panting and sweating next to a bunch of commuters in business attire, is a really awkward length of time to wait, as well as long enough to kill a good running groove. Sometimes the lights along the same street are coordinated, so by traversing one way or another I can fast-forward stoplight time. But If I choose the wrong direction, I put it in slow motion: at each new block I hit, the sign still reads “47″, and I’ll never get to cross.

I used to be proud of my ability to stay upright and almost stopped on my bike for the course of most light cycles. Now, more often than not, I have to give up and put a foot down before it turns green. Especially when there are 3 or more cycles, each 30-60 seconds, that’s a lot of wait time.

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