A couple weeks ago, we asked you on Main Street. Most of those who commented disliked the light and didn't understand it's purpose.
Well, it took us a bit of time, but we got something of an explanation from the city on how the light works. (Thanks to Neighborhood Liaison Danielle Valle-Fitzgerald for making the connection for us.)
The following was taken from an email from John DeBenedictis, P.E., Director of Engineering for the Boston Transportation Department.:
The intersection has loop detectors/sensors on the side streets which are working properly and provide adequate green time for vehicles to turn onto Main Street. Both Sullivan St and Dunstable Street were designed to have separate phases of green time to avoid any conflicts between traffic coming out of the side streets.
There are existing pedestrian buttons and pedestrian signal heads to cross Main St under an exclusive pedestrian phase. Pedestrian buttons and pedestrian signal heads were not added to cross the side streets due to the low traffic volumes on the side streets. It is unlikely that pedestrians would actually press the button and wait for the Walk phase with such low traffic volumes on these approaches.
What do you think? Does that help you understand why the light is there? Do you still hate it?