Traffic Light by Speedy Chen's: An Explanation

Charlestown Patch gets a response on why the traffic light works the way it does.

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?

Just a person! September 12, 2012 at 10:23 AM
Most ridiculous answer I have heard in a long time, The question I believe that was asked is "why was it put up" not the way it functions, or do people hate or like it..... But I guess it is a typical City of Boston answer, just say anything!
WD September 12, 2012 at 11:24 AM
More details please! Exactly how long are the light cycles (in seconds)? How long after triggerring a sensor does a driver on Sullivan St. wait for the light to change? How many vehicles go trhough the intersection per day? Can the light change to flashing yellow at certain times of the day when it is not needed?
John R September 12, 2012 at 11:25 AM
There should be an officer there to stop all the people running the red light on Main! coming from Sullivan St. I cant tell you how many people run that light when it changes. -That would be a revenue boost for the city right there.
Betty Lindsey September 12, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Robert Paulson September 12, 2012 at 11:31 AM
I live near the end of Sullivan and constantly hear slamming brakes and horns for people blowing the red light while driving down Main. People need to just slow down- its a residential area with kids and elderly and drunks.
Just a person! September 12, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Flashing yellow for Main and flashing red for Mishawam and Sullivan st. There is No reason what so ever to have a timed cycle light there, really there is not that much traffic to constitute it. Blinking with a fast ped button, that was the reason supposedly that it was installed. Another thing for "ridiculous.com"
Owen September 12, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I doubt it'd be much of a revenue boost. On top of that, any overtime associated with a surge in enforcement would most likely cancel out any "revenue boost" from traffic enforcement at that light. There does need to be more aggressive traffic enforcement in Charlestown as a whole, though.
Owen September 12, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I don't really understand why it's something to get upset about. We know it's there, so we should act accordingly. Are people upset because it genuinely a safety concern and a hindrance to the smooth traffic flow in Charlestown, or are they upset because they actually have to stop for a minute or so if the light is red? On top of the light in question, aggressive driving is a Charlestown wide problem. I work at the Coast Guard Base in the North End, and most days I walk to work. What should be a nice mile and a half walk to get the day started is usually ruined by someone doing mach 2 between stop signs and red lights (if they even really stop at all). I counted five instances of morning commuters acting rushed and aggressive. From completely ignoring stop signs, to refusing to come to a complete stop when a pedestrian (like me) is in the cross walk (and in some cases angrily accelerating around the pedestrian ((like me)) because said pedestrian took a few too many nanoseconds of the driver's time). If you're in a rush, leave earlier. If not, slow down. You're not that important, no matter how empowered you think your car makes you.
Just a person! September 13, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Only question? What actually is the purpose of the light? Personnel safety? Traffic flow( speed deterrent). Or what? It certainly is not for the school kids, at 10.00 pm at night, lor on Sat and Sun. As I stated before another item for"ridiculous.com"
Just a person! September 13, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Let's take a look at the KofC project that was snuck in!http://www.bennettllc.com/index_Page438.htm
Joseph September 13, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Mark Rosenshein, how did this go through? This sketch seems awfully high, much higher than the Lacey building. Please explain how this is so? Diane Grant reads the Patch and she sits on the CNC board. Diane, a little help here. How did this go through? Why are your cronies so quiet? Danielle - Please bring this to the attention to those at City Hall. PS...JAP, I'm starting to like your style.
Just a person! September 15, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Somebody had to know about this, and kept their mouth shut! http://www.bennettllc.com/index_Page438.htm And why isn't anybody concerned about it? Now! Thanks Joseph for agreeing, down with the CNC and the BRA and all their co-horts.
Joseph September 17, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Hey Matt @Patch or Mark RosenFraud or Danielle Valle Fitzgerald - What's the deal with this?? Can we get some insight? Somebody had to know about this, and kept their mouth shut! http://www.bennettllc.com/index_Page438.htm And why isn't anybody concerned about it? Now! ***BUMP BUMP BUMP***
Dan September 18, 2012 at 12:13 AM
OK, that makes sense as I've traveled down Dunstable st. and needed to cross over to head into City. But... I've also driven down Main hitting the light only to see no traffic exiting either Sullivan or Dunstable. I suspect traffic entering the side streets is setting off the lights. The other possibility it has a timed mode which DeBenedictis forgot to tell us. Owen, I agree aggressive driving is a problem. With that said, we also have a lot of Walking while intoxicated (drink, phone/game or music player engaged) as well as people who fail to think in general on their actions when walking across a street.
Dan September 18, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Matt - What about the stop light you can't see when exiting C-Town on Austin street when crossing over Rt 99/Rutherford Ave? The city messed up when they up graded the lights last year as the pole which holds the hanging lights what not correctly placed given the stop lines location. You need to look almost straight up in the Right lane to see the light! Which is just DUMB! We had a light pole at eye level which they took down which is needed to be put back or move the pole over to the other side of the street.
Marianne Faithfull September 18, 2012 at 01:51 AM
The Patch is a schill for local and state gvt.
Just a person! September 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM
What about. http://www.bennettllc.com/index_Page438.htm How come NOBODY......wants to discuss this. To many getting something??
Noreen Manning September 18, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Yesterday as I drove along Medford Street near CharlesNewtown, a couple of little kids (ages approximately 6 and 8) were crossing. They weren't in the crosswalk, which was dangerous, but it occured to me that a light should be installed there. Surel there are a similar amount (if not more) pedestrians who need to cross back and forth to the store, to the Oilies, to the high school field, etc. as there are on Main Street. As for the light at Sullivan Street, it gets more complicated by the people who double park outside Toni Ann's, Doyle's, Speedy's, etc. The other day I was stopped waiting to get by because TWO cars were double parked on either side of the street. Sat there, inconvenienced, waiting for the oncoming lane to deplete so that I could go around - along came an ambulance - lights flashing, siren wailing. The EMT was evidently a good driver, because he buzzed right through the two parked cars. Some double park when there are spaces sitting there empty. It's inconsiderate and poses a safety threat - just ask the EMT.
Joseph September 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Nothing but crickets from the CNC and the rest of the cronies they control!! Since Matt @Patch, Mark Rosenfraud and Danielle Valle-Fitzgerald seem to be under the control of the CNC and BRA, and are FAILING to question why this building is way out of scope from what was presented a couple years ago, let's try this route: Boston.Com/Your Town/Charlestown: Editor: Roy Greene. rgreene@globe.com Reporter: Johanna Kaiser. johanna.yourtown@gmail.com Boston Herald: http://www.bostonherald.com/about/contact/news_tip.bg http://www.bostonherald.com/about/contact/ Salvatore LaMattina - Salvatore.LaMattina@cityofboston.gov CNC Board Members: Mark Rosenshein: mrosenshein@architecturalteam.com Tom Cunha: tomcunha@comcast.net David Whelan: whelan.dm@gmail.com Peg Bradley: margaret_bradley@verizon.net Judy Brennan: judybrennan@msn.com Barbara Babin: barbarababin@comcast.net Ed Grace: egrace911@msn.com Everyone should question this new building. I don't care that it's being built, but what was presented to the community and supposedly "approved by the CNC" was much different than the structure being built today. Changes were made, the community had NO say to these changes. I could be wrong, but this structure is much taller than what is planned at 40 Warren, is it not? Lots of discussion about zoning on that block, but not so much here? Who is the precinct representative?
Matt M. Casey (Editor) September 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Under the control of the CNC and BRA? http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/354a9w/
Jay K. September 18, 2012 at 02:17 PM
This article is about the traffic light at Speedy Chen's. Just because you bring up a subject and no one is as outraged as you, doesn't mean everyone, including the Patch, is in some big conspiracy. If you want to make it an issue, write a blog about it. I'd like to read it - assuming you bother to call or email the people on these lists to find out what happened.
Jay K. September 18, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Wouldn't one or two highly visible crosswalks (with those pedestrian signs in the middle of the street) address this problem more efficiently than a light?
Joseph September 18, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Well Matt, I understand you are busy with this site. I do respect the work you do. I’m sure it’s not easy. The problem I'm having with The Patch right now is I have no idea what you're about? Do you report what's happening within our community or do you actually go out, ask questions, and do some investigative reporting? The old editor actually went to CNC meetings and reported back. Since she has left, I have yet to see any updates. I could have easily missed the article recapping a meeting, so please excuse me if I'm incorrect with that statement. Are you aware that the frauds on the CNC actually had to hold two meetings just so the meeting times were posted on The Patch, as well as continuing to post in The Bridge? One meeting to discuss whether or not they wanted to update their By-Laws, and the 2nd meeting to actually vote on the amendment. Over two months it took the CNC to decide whether or not they wanted the residents to be more informed as to when the meetings were taking place. Are you seeing the pattern now?
Joseph September 18, 2012 at 04:33 PM
The underlying point is this: Why hasn’t The Patch looked into the CNC and wrote about their failure to keep us informed? You’ve read their mission statement, yet they don’t follow it. You have yet to write anything negative about the CNC, nor call them out about their failure to live up to their elected responsibilities. Why is this Matt? I am thoroughly against the CNC and what they stand for. It’s very clear they do not represent the best interests of the residents of Charlestown. They are a self-serving bunch that REFUSES to keep us informed of what goes on in their meetings. They have the attitude that if you aren’t at their meetings, then you shouldn’t know what they discuss. You call this transparency? I called them out about failing to post the meeting minutes and what did they do? They removed the section on their site stating that minutes will be posted within a couple days after the monthly meeting. As a reporter, you don’t find this very peculiar? These are elected officials Matt!! IMO, the failure of The Patch to be more thorough when it comes to the reporting on what happens with the CNC is a clear sign you’re in bed with them and are afraid of exposing the frauds they are. This entire Rutherford project is beyond the scope that was presented to us, yet you still haven’t written about it. Still confused there little doggy? G’day
Matt M. Casey (Editor) September 18, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Joseph, I am in bed with no one but my significant other—and that's only when we can manage to be in the same city. It's not my job to offer my opinions on the CNC, but I go to their meetings and report back. Recent examples include the story about the triathlon, the initial story about the Julia Stiles movie and the story about the second veterinary facility that plans to come to town. They may not have registered for you as CNC stories because I tend to frame them as community stories that I picked up at the CNC meeting. Really, the fact that a group of people got together in a room and talked for a couple of hours is never a story—it's what that talk is going to mean that people want to know. As far as the difference between my approach and Kristi's her departure coincided with a big change in the company's internal workings. I'm not at liberty to give details about this, but one of the results has been that local editors have less time for bigger projects. I just don't have the resources of The Boston Globe. Trust me, I wish I did, but I have tried to do what I can with what I have.
Joseph September 18, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Just trying to shed light on the frauds running the CNC. Their refusal to be transparent is beyond shocking. Their silence strange. Stranger that not one member has ever posted on The Patch. Even more so, never hearing from our precinct representatives. Oh how they must hate The Patch, the internet, blogs, etc. Take a look into what was approved a couple years ago and was is currently being constructed on Rutherford. There's a story here Matt. G'day
Noreen Manning September 18, 2012 at 08:03 PM
...and back to the traffic lights!


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