Was there a sale on traffic lights at one time-- maybe a buy-one-get-one-free offer-- that can explain why the lights at this intersection even exist? Because they have to be the Most Annoying Traffic Lights in the Med City!

Google Street View

I'm talking about the traffic lights on the corner of 4th Street and 4th Avenue in southwest Rochester-- right in front of Mayo Clinic's Opus Building. Why on earth are they even there?!?

The times I dry by-- and I do just about every day on my way to and from the Quick Country 96.5 Worldwide Headquarters-- there NEVER seem to be any cars coming from the other direction. (Heck, even in this Google Street View at the left, there's all of ONE car in the intersection-- and sure, enough, the light is RED!)

Yet, even without any actual traffic to regulate, those darn traffic lights still dutifully progress through their entire green-yellow-red cycle, stopping what few cars are actually driving down either street, which then have to stop because the light has turned red-- for no apparent reason.

I totally understand why there are traffic signals at busy intersections that are activated by actual traffic; I have no problem waiting my turn at a red light when there are other cars coming the other way. But why do these lights (along with the lights a block down 4th Street at 3rd Ave SW too) simply turn red for no real reason?

And, why are they running 24/7 too? Back in Wisconsin, at various intersections where traffic is heavy during peak drive times but virtually non-existent during off-hours, they set the lights to flash yellow from around 11 p.m. to about 5 a.m. This allows you to drive through the intersection without stopping during off-hours, as long as there isn't any traffic coming the other way.

Couldn't they do that here in Rochester too? Why am I stopped at a red light when there is no traffic on the intersecting street?!? What's the deal, Rochester?!? Annoying!

Listen to Curt St. John from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5