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Old 12-16-2022, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Louisville
5,293 posts, read 6,056,775 times
Reputation: 9623

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So I've lived full time in Louisville for two and a half years now. I resisted moving here for about 5 years before Covid finally forced my hand. What I'm about to complain about as a negative does not at all outweigh the positives I feel about living in the city.

As a driver I have lived in Phoenix, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, and Birmingham AL(briefly). In each case I was able to figure the general flow of my routes and could usually hit light timing, or in cases where I couldn't it made sense(such as busier arteries with timing priority).

Am I going crazy, or have the traffic lights in many areas not been updated in decades to reflect current day traffic patterns? Or is it just part of the quaintness that comes with the cities overall mismanagement? I live 7 miles from work and If I don't drive through at least 2 red lights it will take me 18 minutes to get to work instead of 12(i'm an engineer, my nerd butt did a study lol). I cannot find a smooth pattern on any route. What's more, tiny residential streets in some areas are given just as much time for green as much busier main routes. I can't tell you how many times I've been stopped at a light for 60 seconds for traffic that isn't there. There doesn't seem to be any discretion in timing or priority. I assume creating a smooth traffic flow is low on the cities priorities given the other problems it has on it's hands. Still I've never lived in a city where it was this bad. It's not just me, I regularly see other drivers push through non-sensical lights, instead of wait 45-60 extra seconds at a cross roads where there's no opposing traffic.

Louisville drivers are some of the most aggressive I've driven with, right up there with the speedy Detroiters. It would seem from a safety standpoint that it would be in the cities best interest to address this vs. allow a culture of running lights or ignoring them entirely. It's bad all over the metro with insanely long traffic lights, but it's exceptionally bad in the city center, and the inner neighborhoods around the core. Does anyone else notice this? Yes I know I'm being whiny, but I've spent the last 2.5 years just getting more and more baffled so I thought I'd reach out to the experts lol.

Thoughts?

Last edited by mjlo; 12-16-2022 at 06:45 AM..
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Old 12-16-2022, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Boilermaker Territory
26,404 posts, read 46,555,846 times
Reputation: 19539
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
So I've lived full time in Louisville for two and a half years now. I resisted moving here for about 5 years before Covid finally forced my hand. What I'm about to complain about as a negative does not at all outweigh the positives I feel about living in the city.

As a driver I have lived in Phoenix, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, and Birmingham AL(briefly). In each case I was able to figure the general flow of my routes and could usually hit light timing, or in cases where I couldn't it made sense(such as busier arteries with timing priority).

Am I going crazy, or have the traffic lights in many areas not been updated in decades to reflect current day traffic patterns? Or is it just part of the quaintness that comes with the cities overall mismanagement? I live 7 miles from work and If I don't drive through at least 2 red lights it will take me 18 minutes to get to work instead of 12(i'm an engineer, my nerd butt did a study lol). I cannot find a smooth pattern on any route. What's more, tiny residential streets in some areas are given just as much time for green as much busier main routes. I can't tell you how many times I've been stopped at a light for 60 seconds for traffic that isn't there. There doesn't seem to be any discretion in timing or priority. I assume creating a smooth traffic flow is low on the cities priorities given the other problems it has on it's hands. Still I've never lived in a city where it was this bad. It's not just me, I regularly see other drivers push through non-sensical lights, instead of wait 45-60 extra seconds at a cross roads where there's no opposing traffic.

Louisville drivers are some of the most aggressive I've driven with, right up there with the speedy Detroiters. It would seem from a safety standpoint that it would be in the cities best interest to address this vs. allow a culture of running lights or ignoring them entirely. It's bad all over the metro with insanely long traffic lights, but it's exceptionally bad in the city center, and the inner neighborhoods around the core. Does anyone else notice this? Yes I know I'm being whiny, but I've spent the last 2.5 years just getting more and more baffled so I thought I'd reach out to the experts lol.

Thoughts?
Poor levels of infrastructure at the city level along with some mismanagement, and Kentucky's propensity to invest larger amounts of dollars in poorer areas of the state instead of investing in larger metropolitan areas where a majority of the population actually lives. It has taken me 30-40 minutes just to go less than 7 miles before on surface roads in parts of the city. In reality, the timing of the lights is poor across the area, across the river in Indiana they have upgraded over 75% of all the stoplights in the last 5-10 years and the majority have better timing and sensors. Louisville with its span design stoplights on wires is not appropriate for heavily populated areas, Detroit is another egregious example of diagonal span design stoplight design for even larger intersections- most have been upgraded to remove the span design, with fixed stoplight housings on wires on each section of the intersection.
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Old 12-16-2022, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Louisville
5,293 posts, read 6,056,775 times
Reputation: 9623
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Detroit is another egregious example of diagonal span design stoplight design for even larger intersections- most have been upgraded to remove the span design, with fixed stoplight housings on wires on each section of the intersection.
Regardless of traffic light style, the Detroit area for the most part is a well designed grid system with huge arterial boulevards. Neighborhood traffic funnels into them and then distributes accordingly. It can take a while to get around, but that's due more to sheer volume of traffic in a 4million person urban area than it is poor planning. Though don't get me started on the "Michigan left".

Jefferson County on the other hand seems very poorly planned(or perhaps not planned outside of the immediate city core). Virtually no grid or direct connections outside of the immediate core. I'm sure back when the area was originally developed there was very little thought given to the potential growth especially south and east of the city when the streets were being laid out 100+ years ago. I'm SURE that complicates traffic situations now. Still the most inefficient traffic flow seems to be where the grid actually is.

Quote:
It has taken me 30-40 minutes just to go less than 7 miles before on surface roads in parts of the city.
I have experienced this many times. It regularly takes me 20 minutes to drive the 4 miles up Newburg from my place to the Watterson ramps.
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Old 12-29-2022, 06:09 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
11,974 posts, read 25,466,576 times
Reputation: 12187
Louisville used to have shorter light cycles but in the past decade seems to have gone to the super long holding light cycles that already plagued Lexington and NKY. You get to be the only car waiting 3 minutes at an intersection for the lights to change. Thankfully this lunacy doesn't continue over to the Indiana side of the metro.
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Old 01-12-2023, 11:37 AM
 
6,334 posts, read 11,082,505 times
Reputation: 3085
Now that I've lived here for a couple of days I too have noted the extended waits at most traffic lights at least in Louisville. Northern KY across the river from Cincinnati is also like that. Waiting at some lights for as much as three minutes and dare I say, even five at times at some intersections is foolish. Not only is it a waste of fuel by letting cars idle too long especially at intersections that don't have much traffic in one direction but also gets people impatient and probably leads to people running red lights. Saw that a lot in NKY during my five plus years living there.

They rolled out the traffic light timing technology in Kansas City (both the MO and KS sides) a coupe of decades ago while I was living there and they had traffic moving a lot faster there. From a psychological stand point and also from keeping traffic moving, it makes sense to have lights run every minute to a minute and a half as it will keep people more alert while they wait for the light to turn free and less idling resulting in wasted fuel. And people will be less frustrated with a several minutes wait before they move forward.
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Old 02-02-2023, 01:28 AM
 
7,070 posts, read 16,737,144 times
Reputation: 3559
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
So I've lived full time in Louisville for two and a half years now. I resisted moving here for about 5 years before Covid finally forced my hand. What I'm about to complain about as a negative does not at all outweigh the positives I feel about living in the city.

As a driver I have lived in Phoenix, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, and Birmingham AL(briefly). In each case I was able to figure the general flow of my routes and could usually hit light timing, or in cases where I couldn't it made sense(such as busier arteries with timing priority).

Am I going crazy, or have the traffic lights in many areas not been updated in decades to reflect current day traffic patterns? Or is it just part of the quaintness that comes with the cities overall mismanagement? I live 7 miles from work and If I don't drive through at least 2 red lights it will take me 18 minutes to get to work instead of 12(i'm an engineer, my nerd butt did a study lol). I cannot find a smooth pattern on any route. What's more, tiny residential streets in some areas are given just as much time for green as much busier main routes. I can't tell you how many times I've been stopped at a light for 60 seconds for traffic that isn't there. There doesn't seem to be any discretion in timing or priority. I assume creating a smooth traffic flow is low on the cities priorities given the other problems it has on it's hands. Still I've never lived in a city where it was this bad. It's not just me, I regularly see other drivers push through non-sensical lights, instead of wait 45-60 extra seconds at a cross roads where there's no opposing traffic.

Louisville drivers are some of the most aggressive I've driven with, right up there with the speedy Detroiters. It would seem from a safety standpoint that it would be in the cities best interest to address this vs. allow a culture of running lights or ignoring them entirely. It's bad all over the metro with insanely long traffic lights, but it's exceptionally bad in the city center, and the inner neighborhoods around the core. Does anyone else notice this? Yes I know I'm being whiny, but I've spent the last 2.5 years just getting more and more baffled so I thought I'd reach out to the experts lol.

Thoughts?
Louisville drivers aggressive? The city known for waving and letting you out? The city consistently ranked among the friendliest and best drivers.

meh, I am not buying it.

I will say I have lived two spans in Louisville. I lived with many parents here almost 30 years ago. And I came back here as an adult a few times over the last decade.

It's overall now an average city for drivers. I disagre eon the lights. They are well timed especially downtown.

Get on Broadway or Main street and go 30 mph at a green light and you will never stop!

if you are talking about Hurstbourne and the dozens of major streets that cross it....yes poorly designed and planned. There needed to be another road built outside hurstbourne in the 90s to parallel it and the state would not fund it.....
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