Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Seventh Reason the World is Ending: The Arden Traffic Signal

4. The new traffic signal at Arden Way and Mission Ave

If you have been in the Sacramento-Carmichael-Arden-Arcade area in the last 3 weeks, this atrocious installment is impossible to miss. For years, and I mean at least the 24 that my family has lived here, we have blissfully driven on Arden from Fair Oaks through Eastern without being disturbed by much more than the occasionally rabid Bel Air, Whole Foods, or Starbucks patron. Now, this superfluous light manages to throw off not only traffic patterns, but the very fiber of our community.

How could we let our beloved community deteriorate to the point that we're installing otiose and obnoxious traffic lights?

The sordid local legend involves the Gethsemane Lutheran church. Yes, the very same one looming over the now infamous traffic blemish on Arden Way. From the outside it appears to be your typical benign friendly neighborhood church, but from within the idea for this monstrosity was supposedly conceived. Not satiated by the addition of speed bumps on both Mission Ave and Thor Way, they began plotting. I don't know who exactly "they" are, but it is irrelevant, "they" are obviously evil and intent on destroying all happiness. Local residents were then coerced into signing a petition one by one... those who refused were rarely seen again. Soon, construction on Arden began. No one knew exactly what was being constructed on or why a lane was closed each way. There were construction workers, but they all seemed to be standing there, waiting for something. Months later, there was still no answer. At least until one ominous autumn morning when a traffic signal appeared. Turning lanes soon followed, along with a hideous sign for both Arden Way and Mission Ave.

As soon as my mother urgently phoned me with the news, I knew I had to hurry back. I actually arrived in Sacramento a week before thanksgiving, but I was still too late. The very day I drove back this new signal was activated. At an intersection where we have happily blasted by those waiting at a 2-way stop sign for at least a quarter of a century, we now have to stop for northbound and southbound traffic, and 2 left turn lights.This is the image of the old intersection, still preserved under google maps...
Friends, let this be a lesson. Don't let this happen to you or your community. Save yourselves and your towns before it is too late.

(This is part 4 of a multi-part exposé on signs that the world is ending)