Check out our stuff on GoLocalWorcester
There are many aggravating things that happen while you will encounter around Worcester. Many of these problems revolve around morons behind the wheel, but I would say that many more problems come from unnecessary traffic lights. For instance, one of the main reasons Kelley Square is so awesome and works so well, is because there’s no light. We don’t need a machine to tell us when it’s our turn to go. We just go when we feel like it. The city NEVER takes down traffic lights, but they constantly are adding new, superfluous lights that ironically create more traffic than they dissolve. On that note here are the 12 most pointless lights in Worcester.
12. James Street
The problem I have with this light is there is no street intersection here. They just threw up a light so that pedestrians can cross the street. Anyone who hits the walk signal at this light so they can go and get their groove on at the Dance Ranch should be sent to Siberia. If you can’t figure out how to cross a street, which really isn’t THAT busy of a street, then you don’t deserve to go country line dancing.
11. Hope Ave/Southbridge St
Another new light that we don’t need. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this intersection when this was a stop sign. Now they’ve added this and it literally CREATED traffic where none existed before. The worst part about this is that trucks are constantly coming from the highway and taking the right onto Hope Ave. If you’re coming from Auburn, good luck turning left onto Hope Ave. You’re gonna be there all day while some Polar truck tries to maneuver a bunch of Seltzer that will eventually sit on the rack at Shaw’s for the next four months.
10. Riverside/Soutbridge St
Yet another light that did not exist five years ago. Things were JUST FINE with this intersection, but OF COURSE they had to add a light right before you get to the even bigger clustefuck at Southbridge and Cambridge St. I’m sorry, but the only people who need this light are people coming from Riverside St, and are using it as a cut through to avoid the Cambridge/Southbridge St debacle. We should NEVER accomodate people taking shortcuts. If you wanna do that, more power to ya. But you’re on your own. That’s how shortcuts work.
9. Cutler/Grafton St
Yes, I realize there is an elementary school right here, but it doesn’t mean we have to put up a traffic light. Soccer moms everywhere will be up in arms that we think this behemoth needs to be taken down, but the bottom line is that’s why we have crossing guards. Plus, what the hell is Cutler St? The only reason you would ever need to use that street is if you’re cutting over to Dorchester St or you’re just looking to score some cheap weed with a bunch of seeds in it.
8. Highland/West St
Worst street in Worcester. It’s too skinny, people drive like morons, and you’ve got two extremely busy restaurants right here (the Sole and the Boynton). All this light does is make it a million times worse. I’m just opposed to having lights at side streets that 99% of people have never driven down before. West Street is one of those.
7. Harlow/Lincoln St
Back when Harlow Street school was still doing it’s thing this light actually came in handy from time to time. Now it’s just a traffic sandwich. Harlow Street leads you absolutely nowhere. If you’re one of the five people per day that is coming up from Harlow Street, then that’s on you to figure out a way to pull out onto Lincoln Street.
6. Newbury/Chandler St
The only thing more aggravating than the endless parade of people who walk in or across Chandler Street on their way home from a busy day of buying scratch tickets at Kirsch Liquors, are the lights on Chandler Street. They’re every five feet. The worst part about this light is it follows two other lights on Queen and Piedmont. But at least those side streets actually cross Chandler. What the hell does Newbury Street do? This is basically the same thing we have with the Cutler-Grafton situation. You have an elementary school right there, so some soccer mom who lives in West Tatnuck said, “What about the children?” and some City Councillor threw them a bone and tossed up this God-forsaken light.
5. Pleasant/Sever/Piedmont St
The cultural district of Pleasant St is always good for a show. It’s one of those parts of town where able-bodied men stand outside all day, presumably because they’re all retired at the age of 34. I wanna be in and out of Crown Hill as quickly as possible. There should be ZERO lights here, although I could accept one. But why two??!! And the worst part is the lights aren’t coordinated. You see in this picture the light was just green on Piedmont but red at Sever Street. Then right on cue when the light at Sever turns green you will be able to advance a grand total of 15 feet before having to stop at the red light at Piedmont and see what Gary Rosen got for lunch at the Pickel Barrel. Whoever designed this should have to listen to a Robert Blackwell-Gibbs poetry jam for punishment.
4. Wrentham/Pleasant St
Pleasant Street sucks. I don’t know what it is about this street that brings out the naniburger in everyone. But if I’m trying to go from Tatnuck to Newton Square, I ALWAYS choose Chandler Street, because for whatever reason people drive normally on Chandler. This light here makes it even worse. Who the hell is coming from Wrentham Road? Why not have another light 50 feet ahead at Beaconsfield? Just put lights on every side street in Worcester that people use more than five times a day.
A lot of people think this light 300 feet down the road needs to go too:
If I had to pick one, I’d keep the one at Moreland St. At least Moreland Street goes somewhere. People who have lived on or off of Moreland can tell you how impossible it can be to turn onto Pleasant Street at rush hour. At the same time, the way this light was set up is moronic. It should be blinking red/yellow at all times except for rush hour. And it certainly shouldn’t have a left turn only signal coming from Tatnuck. I’m telling you, the people who design these things are diabolical dooshnozzles who live to make your life more aggravating.
3. Gold/Madison Street
In my life, I think I’ve seen no more than three cars who have actually been coming from Gold Street. You know who’s coming from Gold Street? A bunch of John’s who are bringing back their “girlfriends” to Crystal Park. And yet I never seem to fail to hit the red light here.
2. Cambridge/Douglas Street
Seriously? What the hell is the point of this thing? Granted Douglas Street is one of the most magical avenues in the Woo, but NO ONE uses this pointless street. And where does Douglas Street bring you exactly? Oh yea, NOWHERE. Traffic lights should only exist when two streets with an actual puprose intersect with one another.
1. Airport Road
Fuck this light and everything it stands for. Airport Road is the greatest street in the history of the world. Look at that thing. A divided two lane highway that brings you from Webster Square to Tatnuck in five seconds. So hot. I understand that TJ Maxx has a shift that lets out at 3:00 PM. So toss up a blinking yellow and only have it function between 3:00-3:15. Problem solved. Instead we get this eyesore. And you know who’s fault it is? Worcester State. They created this with their dumbass parking lot that no one ever uses. And they wanted us to plow over the Chandler ballfields? Oh yea, I’m sure that would’ve gone real well. After all, they have such a solid track record of alleviating traffic in this city.
Anyway, did we miss any? Feel free to share your comments to let us know how badly we screwed this one up.
Check out our stuff on GoLocalWorcester