17.2.03

KEEPING THEM MOVING. On the way home from the teacher training session, I used some of the back roads (in northern Illinois, there really is no such thing as a back road east of the Fox River.) The Wauconda police have a novel way of keeping traffic fluid. Where Illinois 59 crosses Illinois 176, there is the usual set of stoplights controlling traffic on and off of 59, which is elevated, into 176. Most of the traffic is bound north on 59 and west on 176 (from the office parks further south to the suburbs.) Just west of the 59 interchanges is a shopping complex, with access controlled by the usual mal-timed traffic lights. In order to keep the traffic fluid, a Wauconda police officer is stationed in a little-used portion of the center left turn lane on 176, and he uses the override feature in his cruiser to hold the signals controlling the southbound 59 ramps and the shopping center entrances at green. I noticed a Crystal Lake patrol car that may have been stationed to do the same thing at a rather nasty crossing further west. I suppose if you can't time the lights more precisely, a high-tech traffic cop will serve.

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