So, a few weeks ago I was sitting at one of the three stoplights that are now part of the Redwood Falls landscape, and I noticed something.
I was one of six vehicles all in different lanes waiting for the chance to get back into motion. It was kind of surreal for me to think that we as a community have come so far.
I recall the days when there was a stoplight in downtown Redwood Falls, and, while I don’t remember when it was removed nor when the longstanding stoplights at Bridge and Swain and Bridge and DeKalb streets were installed, I can admit I was used to things being the way they were – back in the good old days.
I am one who is glad for the extension of the left-turn lane on Bridge Street, and I really appreciate the stoplight at the intersection of Bridge, CSAH 101 and the entrance to the Runnings store.
However, I am curious why the left turn lane stops where it does. Why did it not extend all the way to Quality Drive, which, as any Redwood Falls native can tell you, is – at a certain time in the morning and another in the afternoon – one of the busiest places for traffic.
While it puzzles me, it does not frustrate me.
Those blinking yellow arrows on the new-fangled stoplights do. I don’t like them, and it is for a very good reason. They mess with the way I do things.
Let me explain.
During one of the last days of the school year I was transporting two of the Krause progeny to their education destination when we came upon the intersection at Swain and Bridge streets.
We were facing east and had a red light. The vehicles traveling west were not stationary. They were moving, and in the middle lane the traffic planning to head north was also waiting for its chance to move.
Being impatient, I argued in my head that the light must not be working properly. Why on earth, I said out loud, would traffic heading west have a green light when I had a red light?
That just did not make any sense.
(This is the part where I would like any of you who work for the Redwood Falls Police Department, the Redwood County Sheriff’s Department and the State Patrol to skip ahead a few paragraphs.)
So, I took matters into my own hands and proceeded through the intersection.
OK, if you want to be technical, I went through a red light.
My Amos and my Anna both gasped, and I argued my position with them.
Then my Amos argued back.
“You do know the people on the other side could have had a green arrow,” he said.
So, now I live in a three stoplight town that has what appears to be an infinite number of possible light options to consider.
That is just too much for a guy like me.
Right now I am at the point where I get a bit anxious when I travel the big-city street of Redwood Falls, and I almost wish that the stoplight would tell me what to do.
Just point me in the right direction and tell me when it’s safe.