For John, BLUF: Roads and traffic patterns lead to people performing poorly. Nothing to see here; just move along.
It isn't like any of us has not sinned in this area. All have sinned and fallen short of the traffic code. The other day I was east bound on Appleton Street, when the light at Gorham Street went red. Unfortunately, my gaze fell on the traffic lights on Central Street, just a few feet away, and when they turned Green, with a glance to my left I went, even though the traffic light at my intersection was still red. Mistake on my part.
Last night, west bound on Merrimack Street, I stopped at the light at Bridge Street. On the corner to my left was a woman on a cell phone. After traffic came off of Bridge Street south bound, the pedestrian light came on and the peds moved from corner to corner, except the woman with the cell phone. She remained on the corner until the walking light was almost over and then she started to cross Merrimack Street. As it was, she was going to cross in front of me. The result was that when the light turned green, she was almost in front of me, enroute to the opposite corner. It was like being in a third-world city.
Today, at about 0755, north bound on Nesmith Street, turning left onto East Merrimack Street, there was a White Mustang that was lolly gagging along, almost in the left lane and almost not. Granted, the car was behind a MacDonalds Semi that was straddling the lanes. At any rate, the White Mustang, just ahead of me, got to the intersection after the left turn arrow went yellow and then went out. The White Mustang remained behind the stop line while the through light was green and remained there until the light turned yellow, and, just as it went red, the car pulled out into the intersection and made a left hand turn. For emphasis, against a red light and the right away of traffic entering the box from the left and right.
There is a reason our flagmen are uniformed officers. It is because we are such scoff laws.
However, we aren't scoff laws because it has been in our DNA since the Pilgrims immigrated. It is because we are the victims of a horrible sociological experiment in which we are like rats in a terrible maze. Our roads were not well laid out in the beginning, and little effort has been made to make them better since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. So, while we can blame the Pilgrims for poor traffic planning, we must attribute the blame for the continuation on a flinty New England unwillingness to make early investments in infrastructure, when it is a cheap investment. Just look at Dracut this last week.
Regards  — Cliff