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Left Turn light San Antonio/Middlefield problems?

Original post made by San Antonio, Adobe-Meadow, on Aug 25, 2015

Was driving from Los Altos on San Antonio noontime today. Long tail back. Left turn light at Middlefield was letting 3 cars per green light. I came this way to get to this area. This was not commute time, I can usually do this route fairly quickly at this time of day.

Anybody else experiencing problems here?

Comments (4)

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 25, 2015 at 7:05 pm

I've gotten stuck on San Antonio, too, hoping to turn left on Middlefield but the problem seems to be broader than that single intersection.

It seems that ALL of the lights on Middlefield are timed that way. I came back from Menlo Park on Middlefield and got stuck at every light, with the traffic backups growing.

What's particularly odd are the intersection where all 4 roads are solidly red with not a single car moving in ANY direction through the intersections.

It's also the same on Embarcadero where only 2 cars get to make a left onto Newell so the turn lane ends up taking up half the through traffic lanes on Embarcadero.

It would be great to get an update on how the city-wide traffic signal synchronization plan is going.

Posted by Oudated
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 7:56 am

The problem is not just lack of synchronization but also the use of long-outdated traffic signals.

The ones in popular use today are "smart" signals, that sense when cars are lining up OR when there are no cars. They stay green when there are no cars in the cross traffic lanes. Instead of timers, they use sensors to tell when the light s need to change.

As usual Palo Alto is the last to have such technology. You can rightfully blame Jaime Rodriguez for this one: it was on his watch that our current system became outdated. Plus, he still holds the contracts for these traffic light installations.

Posted by Also
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2015 at 9:00 am

While we're digressing, the traffic lights on Greer Rd. and Louis Rd. intersecting Oregon Expressway are ridiculous too. It was fine before they changed the traffic signals to add turn arrows - it seemed to detect when a car rolled up and would change rapidly. The lights are obviously not new technology because they stay red when there are no cars on OrEx. They also stay green when there is no one on Greer or Louis, while the turn arrow is red and a car is waiting at Greer or Louis. I usually cross Oregon on the green, make a U-turn on Greer, and then a right onto OrEx, otherwise it's a 3-minute wait for the turn arrow.

Posted by Outdated
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 12:42 pm

The Oregon Expressway fiasco is another mess courtesy of Jaime Rodriguez!

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