News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Number of traffic lights has me seeing red

Years ago I wrote about the beauty of Falkvilleís solitary red light.

After counting 21 traffic lights on my way to work last week, my affection for Falkvilleís traffic-control system still shines bright.

Imagine if you could drive across town and have to stop only once.

I donít want to stand in the way of progress, but progress keeps standing in my way.

Every time a major commercial development comes along, it leaves me seeing red.

After wasting too much of my life waiting for lights to change, I have earned the right to complain about the new traffic signals at Target in Decatur.

And the traffic signal that Hartselle wants for a planned Loweís.

And the traffic signal that may be coming to Central Parkway and Eighth Street Southwest.


Itís time for a moratorium on red lights. There must be a better way to keep up from killing each other at the crossroads.

Decatur has spent tens of thousands of dollars through the years to synchronize traffic lights on Sixth Avenue, but the waiting traffic on intersecting streets makes it impossible to sail through town.

It may not be as graceful as synchronized swimming, but itís more efficient than the dog paddle.

In a stroke of engineering genius, Hartselle has somehow synchronized its traffic light in front of Wal-Mart to make you stop even if you are driving the only car within a mile of the intersection.

Whenever I work the midnight shift and pass by there, the light always stops me. And there is never another car coming from any other direction.

In fact, there is so little traffic that time of night that the city could switch the light to flashing mode. Of course with Wal-Martís clout, shoppers would probably get the right of way while drivers on the four-lane highway would have to yield.

Hereís a message to all you government bureaucrats who have the power to spread misery among the masses.

Look to Falkville.

Embrace the beauty of one.

Scott Morris is managing editor.

Scott Morris Scott Morris
DAILY City Editor

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