Printed letters, June 22, 2011

Traffic signals work well, but drivers don’t

I am responding to Jeremiah Habecker’s comments in his letter to the editor published June 14 because city staff cannot.

I gotta admit that the letters and “You Said It” column in The Daily Sentinel are a constant source of entertainment. Nothing like people asking for someone to get fired when they have no clue what they are talking about.

The unique aspect of my profession is that anyone who drives considers themselves a traffic engineer. Well there is a lot more to it than just being a roadway system user.

First, the traffic-control devices are monitored and adjusted as conditions change. Patterson Road is the busiest long road in Grand Junction, and the city does a great job of keeping the traffic flowing at all times.

Second, you may have to wait a bit to turn onto Patterson Road or anywhere else, but I can guarantee that you will not wait more than 120 seconds — time it yourself to verify. Your perception doesn’t match reality if you think you are waiting 5 minutes.

Third, there may be a case where some part of the signal system is broken and something isn’t working correctly. You have two options in this case. You can pay more taxes so that the city can hire more people to monitor every intersection in town on a daily basis. Or you can contact the city and let them know that something seems wrong. A letter to the paper is probably the least-effective way to solve such a problem.

Fourth, the signal system can be designed and operated to perfection, but may work poorly. Why? Distracted drivers are using it and not paying attention. How many times have you been behind someone at a traffic signal who doesn’t go when the light turns green? These “inefficiencies” are just part of the deal, but it doesn’t mean that city traffic engineers aren’t doing their job.

Don’t even get me started on pedestrian crosswalks.

SKIP HUDSON Professional Traffic Engineer

Grand Junction

Lottery not a viable solution for K-12 funding

A reader suggested a special lottery to fund K-12 education. While I applaud the effort of looking for solutions (and I too participate in the lottery) it is not a viable solution. The lottery does not create wealth; rather it merely is an exchange of wealth.

Unfortunately, the things that do create wealth — agriculture, manufacturing, mineral extraction and forestry — have all been legislated or regulated to the point that they no longer can compete on a global scale.

This nation may not be defeated from the outside, but it surely is being beaten from within. Now, the optimistic news: Congress, the administration and the judiciary all recognize this and are prepared to act.

Naw, probably not.



CAP cadets were big help during the Relay for Life

I would like to thank the Civil Air Patrol cadets who worked the Relay For Life June 17 and 18.

They worked tirelessly doing whatever needed to be done all day, all night, and into the next day, cheerfully and happily.

They are examples of great young men and young women. The whole Relay went easily and without problems thanks to them. They helped unload and load the teams, empty trash, and anything that was asked of them. They looked sharp in their uniforms all the while.

Thank you, cadets.


Grand Junction


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