Sunday, January 25, 2015
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

Solano GOP welcomes address from King niece

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Nursing students take next step in higher education

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

Friend seeks justice for 1982 Vacaville homicide victim

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Scientists think Earth doomed: I disagree

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Biggest Little Car Show returns for 31st year

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Solano Safety Net Summit set in Fairfield downtown

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Wine, chocolate pairing comes to downtown Benicia

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Local gas prices dip below $2 a gallon

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Crews respond to residential fire

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Be heart smart all year long

By Gerald Bourne, MD | From Page: C4

 
Kindergarten Readiness Roundup enlightens parents

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Weather for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
CHP seeks witnesses to I-80 crash

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5

Saudi monarchy transition a real economic concern

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
City seeks input on downtown plan

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

Privatized housing tenants to feel BAH pinch

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Airman with Fairfield tie completes training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: Jan. 22, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
.

US / World

Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
It’s a hoot hanging out with owls at this Tokyo cafe

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Avian flu confirmed in commercial turkey flock in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Boy, 13, arrested in fatal stabbing near Los Angeles school

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Abortion opponents express renewed hope at SF rally

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
School: Sea otter conceived in wild is 1st born in captivity

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man searching by plane finds body of missing son off Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Kia recalling nearly 87,000 Fortes because of fire risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Elon Musk’s SpaceX drops lawsuit against Air Force

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California’s public-worker payroll increased post-recession

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Police: Man shot his family, killing 3, then killed himself

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Company seeks rights to names of iconic Grand Canyon lodges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
1st attempt to lift fuselage of crashed AirAsia plane fails

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Tens of thousands protest after president resigns in Yemen

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Thousands march against socialist president in Venezuela

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Expert says King Tut mask can be restored after epoxy used

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Obama to cut short India trip to pay call on Saudi Arabia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Plea for return of stolen statue

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Not all police are bad

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 25, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Jan. 25, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 25, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

The gift of a new beginning

By Dalia Adams | From Page: C3

 
Mennonite group to build houses in tornado-damaged town

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Yearbooks bring Jewish, Catholic groups together

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscope Jan. 25, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

My dad can’t get over the bad first impression of my boyfriend

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Mariel Hemingway working on memoir and young adult novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Jonathan Franzen to appear at BookExpo America

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

25 years of trying to get it right

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sharapova, Bouchard into quarterfinals at Australian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

2 Williams sisters, 2 Madisons into 4th round at Aussie Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Hall of Famer Ernie Banks mourned in sports world and beyond

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Thompson’s record 3rd quarter leads Warriors past Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Belichick on deflated balls: ‘We try to do everything right’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s surgically repaired hip on mend

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Buckeyes celebrate their title at Ohio Stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Carroll, Belichick excelled after failing the first time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Luck-led Team Carter vs. Romo-lead Team Irvin in Pro Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP Explains: The Pro Bowl, unlike any other All-Star game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Abdullah leads North to 34-13 win over South in Senior Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

As Brady, Gronk know, pre-Super Bowl injury talk always big

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Interview: Selig says MLB could expand internationally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Could Super Bowl be Lynch’s finale in Seattle?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sherman, Seahawks take the trash-talk lead over Patriots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Ashley Wagner wins 3rd US title with record-setting scores

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Weber’s 108.5-mph blast gives him hardest shot at NHL skills

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Jimenez, Mediate share lead in Champions Tour opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Grace wins Qatar Masters by 1 stroke

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Matt Kuchar stumbles in, gives away Humana Challenge lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
For streaking Atlanta Hawks, it’s all about the balance

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Upstart wins $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Mischief Clem wins California Cup Derby in photo finish

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

World Cup of Hockey tournament set for 2016

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Hometown report: Bowling

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

Sports on TV for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 25, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Anheuser-Busch to buy craft beer company

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Booking a trip to the ER on your smartphone? It’s a breeze

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Higher standard deduction, other breaks for older taxpayers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Tiny Cokes: Less guilt means more money for makers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Recalls this week: cleaners, fitness machines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
First Look: Apple’s HomeKit could help smarten up your home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Obituaries

Don Johnson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Thomas Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Sheila Margery (Smith) Luxenberg

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics