Thursday, July 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Who meters the metering lights?

By
From page A9 | January 12, 2014 |

Ominous ramp minions (commonly called “metering lights”) started appearing along the Eisenhower Highway in Solano County a few years ago.

Having relocated from Silicon Valley, I know the unbridled frustration waiting in line for the glorious green light produces. I hoped that the light posts and black diamond signs would remain deactivated and turned to the side in shame, shame for a silly concept that should never be allowed to spread. Alas, my heart was broken recently at the news that the lights would be activated, whether Fairfield likes it or not.

The first question that pops into commuter’s heads usually ponders the question “Who is monitoring the metering light?” Is it some Cyberdyne Systems robot, or is it some cube dwelling minion dozens of miles away? No one can be certain; the only known fact is that it is not a human actually at the ramp adjusting the light to current real time traffic conditions.

In addition, metering lights don’t mitigate traffic, they just back it up onto city streets. Those of you who have endured the eastbound crawl through Fairfield on a Friday evening know that it is not a result of too many cars entering the highway from Fairfield; rather most vehicles are just passing through, containing Bay Area residents and employees headed home or to the mountains.

The metering light also diminishes traffic safety by cutting the ramp length by at least half, if not more. When our local ramps were designed and built more than 50 years ago, they were designed to be long enough so when a vehicle enters the ramp, they have enough room to accelerate to highway speeds. Putting a stoplight at the end of the ramp destroys that concept and now you have a parking strip.

When someone gets the green light to hop on the freeway, they now have 50 feet to get up 60 mph, rather than 100 yards. Imagine being a tractor trailer roaring along at 60 mph when a tiny car pops in front of you going 20 mph.

The ramp carpool lanes are meant as an incentive to leave a car at home and buddy up so you can bypass the man-made backup. Unfortunately, as many people have witnessed while languishing in needless traffic, many technically legal carpools are not “real” carpools. When someone takes a cab, what is the net number of cars removed from the road? Zero. They simply hired another car to replace theirs.

A case could be made that the cause of heavy traffic backup on eastbound highway 80 through Fairfield is the loss of a lane approaching (the former) North Texas Street interchange. Rather spending resources on metering light programs, why not find a way to add another lane on highway 80 to Vacaville and beyond?

The technical arguments against metering lights are plentiful, but there is something more disturbing about the current metering light campaign. Historically, the city council of the affected town would have the final say in activating the metering lights. However, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission unilaterally decided that ramp metering lights shall be activated in Solano County, without approval from the communities affected by the metering lights.

What recourse do we the people in our cities have when the collateral damage caused by metering lights jams up our city streets? Which public servants at the state, county or municipal level do we get to air our concerns and grievances? Which public servants facilitated or permitted this heavy-handed approach to traffic mitigation?

Having the concerns of citizens in our community be nullified by the decree of some quasi-elected group who have essentially said, “Do what we tell you or you will not get any money” should send chills down our spines and ripples of anger coursing through our veins. As our community expands, solutions to traffic growing pains should remain in the hands of the people most affected by the traffic: Local citizens.

Brian Thiemer is chairman of the Solano County Libertarian Party. He can be reached at lpsolanocounty@gmail.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • The MisterJanuary 12, 2014 - 8:07 am

    Great observation, Brian! I'm glad you mentioned the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). The MTC is a voluntary non-governmental organization that various righteously organized governments (city, county) have voluntarily joined. You, Brian, do not have a representative on the MTC that you can vote out. Why do we have such groups like the MTC, STA, ABAG, etc? Because it takes away authority from the righteous government entities (city, county) and you, the voter, and removes it to behind a bureaucratic shell to fool you into impotence. (Did you know that our local cities have given away their rightful power of eminent domain to these non-governmental, non-elected organizations? Your mayors and councilmembers have sold you, the people, down the river.) Oh, all of this did not happen by chance... it's all part of Agenda 21 and its implementation arm, ICLEI. And yes, Fairfield and Solano County are voluntary members of ICLEI. Fact. Bet ya'll didn't know that.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 12, 2014 - 2:08 pm

    Mr. Thiemer, there is no intelligent argument to support these dysfunctional projects. They’re 99% unenforceable so who stands to gain from them? Certainly not those driving through. I believe I heard they will run them green for some time to adjust? When they begin working, I recommend slowing way ahead of time and be prepared to stop and possibly rear-ended. You will most definitely get chastised by those behind you. Such is the nature of those negligent souls. Enjoy!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Artists with trowels transform highway wall

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
 
County court employees rally against cuts, furloughs

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
Crews to begin Vacaville slurry seal street project

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3

2nd candidate eyes Vacaville mayoral run

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Bertani schedules town hall meet

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Vacaville police arrest fugitive Dezmon Frazier

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

 
Sesame Street USO tour visits Travis

By Staff Sgt. Christopher Carranza | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Weather for July 24, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: July 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: July 21, 2013

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: July 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Fairfield police log: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Lawsuit tests racial policy at California prisons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Honduran families deported back to a bleak future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

Lockdown lifted at Little Rock Air Force Base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Casualty numbers raise questions about Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
40 bodies from jet solemnly returned to Dutch soil

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Watch out for Bobby Jindal

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A7

 
Rick Perry’s contradiction

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Editorial Cartoons for July 24, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Good men lost due to Bergdahl

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Is Logue tripping over words?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
.

Living

Today in History for July 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I resent my husband for not defending me to his mother

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

CBS event marks civil rights anniversary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
4-day Comic Con festival kicks off in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Filmmaker Michael Moore’s divorce is finalized

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
CBS says Colbert keeping CBS’ ‘Late Show’ in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Pence drives in 3, Giants beat Phillies 3-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cespedes hits 2 HRs, A’s hold off Astros 9-7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Big innings fuels 16-1 Expos victory in Area 1 opener

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders start to arrive for start of camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

Tight end Vernon Davis arrives at 49ers training camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Testimony ends in trial over $2B Clippers sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Playful Pole wins Tour stage, as Nibali marches on

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
4 Cities to meet with USOC about 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Mavericks’ Felton pleads guilty in NYC gun case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles reach deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Seattle’s Sidney Rice announces his retirement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Broncos owner giving up control due to Alzheimer’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Business

Stopping deadly oil train fires: New rules planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

GM issues 6 more safety recalls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

Joseph Ross Smith Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Shirley T. ‘Mac’ McFadden

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

Mary Bell Scrivner Sanders

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Arturo Montenegro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9