Lance from Denver writes, “What is driving you crazy? On Stout St, just north of 25th St., there is a stop light in the middle of the block. There is no alley or crosswalk. The light appears to operate only on a timer, and often I'm stopped there for no reason. What is the purpose for this light?”
There are many of these kind of signals all around Denver, Lance. Denver Public Works calls them “speed gap” signals and they have installed several of them in residential areas that are located along one-way streets with no cross streets. 8th Ave, 13th Ave, 14th Ave, and 17th Ave all come to mind. The signals are installed about a quarter-mile apart down the corridor to help drivers maintain the speed limit through the neighborhood, which is usually 30 mph.
Heather Burke, Communications Specialist with Denver’s Department of Public Works tells me, “The traffic signal on Stout Street just north of 25th Street was installed at that location with safety at the forefront. The signal helps drivers slow down as they travel through that residential area along Stout Street, to keep pedestrians and people on bikes safe who are crossing at the intersection. In addition, the signal allows drivers to make a safe right hand turn into the alleyway”.
When properly used, traffic signals help reduce the risk of T-bone crashes, provide gaps in the traffic stream benefiting other access points further “downstream,” and provide right-of-way changes for traffic at intersections. When not properly used, traffic signals make drivers more frustrated than trying to open a jar of pickles with butter on your hands.
Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 20 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Podbean.