Gasoline & Traffic Signals

Even as gasoline prices continue to fall, I am furious about the synchronization of traffic signals in my part of the world.

Once upon a time, municipalities synchronized traffic signals so that a vehicle moving at or about the speed limit would be stopped by a red light very infrequently, usually once while on that particular road. Apparently, St. Louis County, Missouri has abandoned that practice.

Last night, I had to stop for 7 of 9 signals in a 4 mile stretch approaching my home.

From my house to the nearest supermarket is 1.1 miles. There are 3 signals between them. These signals are sychronized so that each car must stop at each one for up to 3 minutes each, making the typical commute for a gallon of millk about 30 minute affair. The next-closest supermarket is 2.3 miles away, but by making a right onto highway 100 at the first signal, I can get to the more distant store and back in less than 10 minutes.

My SUV is equipped with a built-in gas mileage meter. I have determined that driving on Manchester Road in West St. Louis County stopping about every 8/10th of a mile for a signal, I get about 11 MPG. Driving the same stretch as the same speed without the signals (don’t ask how I accomplished this) I get 22.8 MPG.

If we really want to reduce our gasoline consumption, perhaps we should spend a little money on traffic light synchronization. Then again, St. Louis County would lose a lot of money in gasoline taxes, as would the federal government. Until governments do little things to double my gasoline mileage, I’ll be damned if I’ll cram into a hybrid deathtrap.

Author: William Hennessy

Co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Persuasive design expertLatest book: Turning On Trump: An Evolution (2016)Author of The Conservative Manifest (1993), Zen Conservatism (2009), Weaving the Roots (2011), and Fight to Evolve (2016)I believe every person deserves the dignity of meaningful work as the only path to human flourishing.