Home Page About Us Contribute
LuckyBug LifeStyle
















What a mess!

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

What a mess!

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
October 1, 2009


I just came through Crystal Lake in hard rain, and the lights were out on U.S. 14 at IL 176, South Ridgefield Road and at College Entrance 1 Road at MCC. What a mess!

The worst intersection was at 14 & 176, by the Shell station and McDonald's. As locals know, it's not a 90-degree intersection. Drivers were treating the intersection as a four-way stop, since the lights were out, and drivers were tentative about entering the darkened intersection.

It didn't help a lot that a police car was sitting in the Shell station near Route 14 with his overhead lights flashing. Where was the officer? In the car and dry?

I remember directing traffic one afternoon at a similar intersection in Colorado. I was on the way home from my office, not in uniform, and the lights were out after a heavy rainstorm. There were two through lanes in each direction and left-turn lanes in each direction. The first thing I did was get all the traffic stopped. Nobody moved.

Then I let traffic go in one direction at a time. Nobody else moved. When a local officer showed up, he sat in his car and watched. It was his town, not mine, and I finally walked over to ask why he hadn't come out to help. His answer was that he was waiting for back-up!

Traffic control can be handled safely by one officer, as long as he takes charge of the intersection. He doesn't have to be whistle-happy and should only use the whistle to command attention, not to hurry traffic along. Crisp, clear, military-style arm and hand gestures gain the respect of drivers and they pay attention.

Drivers seldom see "professional" traffic control away from military bases. Occasionally, a retired M.P. will carry those skills into a civilian department.

Why an officer wasn't out in the intersection in a bright yellow slicker with a flashlight with a long, orange cone on it tonight, I don't really know. "Officer safety," perhaps. The heck with traffic flow.



Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library at Google+ The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr  
 
 


The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute




By accessing the The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the terms and conditions on our Legal Information:  Disclaimers & Privacy Policy page.

To notify The Crittenden Automotive Library of errors, suggest topics, contribute information, make a comment on a page or to ask a question e-mail us.