Recently, BeemerGirl made a post about riding 9 miles to work and missing all 13 stop lights . And Troubadour also commented that he usually missed his stop lights too. Thus I thought that it would be easy for me to count the number of stop lights I encounter whilst travelling to work. They are doing a lot of road maintenance around town and my main route has been closed for a few months due to sewer maintenance. I have no choice but to go the long way round which takes longer. There are no freeways within Vancouver City Limits. We have what they call the Lougheed highway but there are signal lights every mile or so, crosswalks and manual push button lights on demand. These push button controlled lights are usually flashing green until a pedestrian wants to cross the street, then they push a button on the pole and the light turns red for us. Many times I am the only vehicle for a mile in each direction and someone pushes the button to cross and I have to make my stop. I sometimes have to shake my head and wonder why they just don't wait until I pass .
So I started my plan on Monday morning and started counting the signal lights. I took the slow route taking 41st Avenue then Eastbound on Kingsway. Now my brain doesn't function at full speed at 7am in the morning. One, Two then a problem, there was a manual controlled green flashing light. so now it was two-dash-one, then another flashing light, now two-dash-two, then a regular light 3-dash-two and so on until as I continued on my way
As I approach the Metrotown area there are signal lights (or manual controlled lights) at nearly every block and you encounter a maze of RED. There were as many manual as regular automatically controlled lights
(about 1/2 hour before sunrise, Metrotown, Burnaby, BC)
13-dash-5, 14-dash-6, 14-dash-7 and before I get to work I have lost count. I was having a problem keeping the numbers straight and I was counting the next light as I approached it, and when I passed under the light I think I double counted. Not to worry, I thought I would just forget it and count again on Tuesday.
So Tuesday comes around and I had a better plan. I would count the light as I passed under the light rather than as I saw it. This would eliminate my double counts. Brilliant I thought. But somehow as I made my way to work I was paying attention to traffic and again, forgot to count some lights. So now my count got moved to Wednesday. I also got my map out and imagined my route along the way and tried to put in the stop lights. No problem but I was having trouble imagining the manually controlled ones.
I can't believe that such a simple chore as to counting signal lights was so hard. I mean if BeemerGirl can do it, so can I. I'm not going to lose concentration today. I'm now up to Wednesday and I start counting again. Today I am going to count out loud so my sieve of a brain can keep everything straight. I pass my first light and count ONE. Then I repeat One, one, one until I get under the next light, then it is two, two , two and so on until I get to light three. All seems to be going well until I get to work and can't be sure what the final count was. I was thinking that I should have a pad and pen and make stroke lines of manual and automatic as I make my way to work.
Well, Thursday has come and I start counting again and decide that whatever the count, this was going to be it. I am not positively sure but here is the official, unofficial count (ie: subject to verification) My commute is around 15 miles and I have 29 signal lights, and approx 12 manual pedestrian controlled lights, for a grand total of 41 lights. Here in Vancouver you miss as many manual lights as automatic ones as pedestrians are stupid.
On Friday I take the faster route along Lougheed Highway. Unofficially there are 19 auto lights and about 10 manual ones.
The Weekend has finally arrived and while I was getting my 'Strom ready to meet my friends for breakfast, I hear on the radio that there has been a shooting near the end of our lane, and that Oak Street (a major arterial street) has been closed from 41st to 33rd avenue. I walk to the end of our block and look south
there is a police cruiser stopping all the traffic at 41st avenue. Then I turn to my right and look north. They've got CSI yellow tape spread everywhere
There is no traffic, but our street is barracaded
I notice the tape on the first light standard and I don't think I am supposed to cross that line, but I walk on the street where there is no tape and slowly make my way towards the intersection
There are a few people around guarding the intsection and others gathering evidence. I don't think I am supposed to take photos but I do anyway whilst no one is looking at me. I am trying to look incognito
I heard on the news that it was a person 30 years old whom is well-known by the police as belonging to a gang and that it was a targeted "hit". Witnesses say there was a hail of gunfire around 4am and then a bang as his car hit another parked on the street, then careened over the sidewalk.
Notice all those yellow triangular cones on the ground. I would imagine that these are all shell casings. The Police were scouring all over the place looking for more. Later I rode my V-strom around the lane and didn't notice the car which was reported to have bullet holes in it.
somehow I knew that I needed a longer lens so I mounted my Canon 100mm 2.8 onto my T2i in order to get more 'reach' .
I had my camera under my shoulder and nearly hidden. As I was talking to the officer on duty he told me to get on my way as I should not be this close to the scene, before his supervisor noticed me, and I turned around for one final shot
While the rest of the continent is under a blanket of snow, our roads are dry and we have Spring like temperatures again today, nearly 52F
So I did what you were dreaming of, I mounted my mighty V-strom and headed South . . .