Forget Batman–The Green Arrow Is My Hero

Forget Batman.  The Green Arrow is my hero.

No, not that Oliver Queen chap from the DC comics (I've always been a Marvel fan myself, anyway), but this wonderful bit of LED magic.


Finally, our intersection has green left turn arrows.  I feel so… FANCY!

But, this is Chicago, they can't make it smooth.

They actually installed the 5 light signals lights last winter.  But they left the old 3 light signals sitting in a pile on one of the corners.

And we got excited, we're getting a turn arrow: like we are moving into the 80's or the suburbs or something.

But they covered the arrows sections of the signals with plastic bags.  So, nothing changed, except we were living with a tease for a couple of months.

And then one day, we saw the crew remove the pile of old signals that had been sitting out in the snow and mud.  And they were messing around with light control boxes.  I couldn't believe it, we were getting the signal, FINALLY!

Let me explain.  We live right off Western Ave., one of THE primary north / south road in Chicago.  And when we go shopping, we almost always head south, so coming home, we have to try to cross the two lanes of traffic at the intersection.  I'd given up on trying to do it.  I would use the red light to "throw a block" if you will, then turn a couple of blocks early, and wind around on some narrow neighborhood streets to get to where I need to go.  This turn arrow coming up from the south will save me maybe 4 or 5 minutes getting home.

And then the Lord said, "Let there be light."  And there was.  And it was good.  For maybe a week or two.

After enjoying the gift of the turn signal for about two weeks, one day, I pulled into the left turn lane, and I didn't get the light.  Now, these aren't your fancy suburban turn arrows that sense if a car is there before activating.  These are dumb lights.  They follow the same pattern, no matter what.  I got robbed.

My green light had been taken away.  And the next day when we were at the bus stop on the corner, I noticed that south bound, the green light and green arrow light at the same time.  This wasn't simply a matter of the north bound green arrow not working.  The north bound traffic was specifically getting screwed.

As I was getting ready to write the alderman, and ask why we were being treated like second class citizens…

The green arrow returned!