Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
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Loading Truck Traffic Lights

For awkwardly parked loading/unloading trucks
  [vote for,

We were in the car, and I was enjoying a rare stint as a passenger, window rolled down and a cool summer breeze caressing my brow. My good friend James, also in a relaxed mood from finishing our long four year course, turned into the backstreets of our cosy seaside town as we drove towards our favorite haunt, the Uplands Cafe.

My impatient friend's mood was shattered, however, by a large lorry parked on the corner, delivering crisps to the nearby pub; as we were turning right, a car whooshed past, and James (who is personally insulted by others' stupidity) vehemently cursed the driver and the truck in equal amounts. In my mild mannered (and never offensive) manner, I pointed out that the truck hardly had an option as to where he parked if he had a delivery to make, but my pacifying seeds fell on stony ground.

The perfect solution presented itself to me: delivery vehicles should have a set of traffic lights mounted to the front and back sides, which would proscribe right of way to those people who need to pass - they could be controlled by a very simple sensor/timing feature which would automatically kick in when the truck was parked with its back hatch open, and might save lives, as well as confusion, and the temper of my irrascible friend.

yamahito, May 31 2002


       this other car, it was going in the opposite direction as yourselves yes? I see. then the obstruction was on your side of the road and the other driver had right of way. yes? then he should have yelled at James yes? I hope the crisps got to the pub unharmed by the way. love crisps with a vengeance. cheese and onion yes?
po, May 31 2002

       Hehe - no it was his right of way. I'd have pointed it out to my friend, but I didn't want to spoil his fun.
yamahito, May 31 2002

       ...or the city could mandate loading zones for commercial enterprises. Not as HalfBaked, but safer.
phoenix, May 31 2002

       We've got them, phoenix. But the size of the streets mean that they block off one side of the road. The visibility is the main problem - it doesn't help to know who's right of way it is when both of you are already in the same lane. And the matter isn't helped by trucks having to park illegally on a corner in some backstreet which is too remote to have them.
yamahito, May 31 2002

       you did not make it clear which side of the road the obstruction was on and I was only worried for the crisps reaching their destination. But a good driver is a patient driver who can read the road ahead and predict the misjudgements of other drivers and can resist the urge to beat the crap - oh sorry there I go again
po, May 31 2002

       Don't worry, the crisps were fine. We did run through a pyramid of empty cardboard boxes, though (ok, not really ->sigh<-)   

       The point is that the visibility means that the most suspiceous minded driver might get caught out - or wait while everyone else takes advantage..
yamahito, May 31 2002

       lets just be thankful that there was not a biker caught up in the middle. think bike and you cannot go wrong.
po, May 31 2002

       This could work much like the flaggers who direct traffic when road construction constricts a two-way road to one lane, except it could be electric and maybe on an arm that swings out from the delivery truck.   

       It would have the same problem, though: people would ignore it and drive headlong through the red light. There's been construction and an associated "SLOW"/"STOP" flagger outside my office for the past few months, and several times a day the flagger has to physically interpose himself between the construction site and an SUV whose driver thinks that "STOP" means other people. (The flagger, intelligently, only sticks the signpole into harm's way. So far no actual collisions but I wouldn't want to risk it.)
wiml, May 31 2002


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