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"Try Another Route" Traffic Light

Traffic light lets you know if a train is crossing the road you are about to turn onto.
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In the morning, I am always running late on my way to work. There are several different routes that I can take , and I always pick the roads that appear to have the least amount of traffic and make turns whenever I can catch a green traffic light the most quickly. Unfortunately, I will sometimes be able to perfectly time a green light turn onto another road only to find that I am forced to stop for several minutes at a railroad crossing a little further down that road to wait for a train to roll through. If I had known that the train was coming before I made my turn, I could have continued down the road I was using and turned onto one of the many other roads that will lead me to my destination.

At intersections near railroads, It would be nice to have "railroad crossing indicator lights" on top of the traffic lights. These lights would activate as soon as the railroad crossing barriers and lights at the tracks go into action. As a result, drivers will know before they make a turn if they will get stuck waiting for a train and can choose alternate routes if possible. For safety reasons, these new lights could flash purple or white or some other color that is distinctly different from the standard green, yellow, and red of the traffic lights.

tchaikovsky, Dec 05 2004


A form of "I wouldn't go ahead there if I were you."?
reensure, Dec 05 2004

       If one road is blocked by a crossing train, wouldn't all nearby parallel roads be similarly afflicted? Unless your city makes good use of underpasses, this wouldn't be too helpful in the scenario you describe.   

       On the other hand, warnings for longer-term traffic problems, such as road construction or a major accident could benefit from this. Additionally, such a warning could be in the form of a temparary road sign, eliminating the need to mess with the traffic lights.
nick_n_uit, Dec 08 2004

       It is true that other parallel roads may be crossed by the train tracks also. However, if I see that the first road is afflicted, I can continue traveling down the perpendicular road that I'm on, getting closer to my destination, and by the time that I reach the next parallel road there is a good chance that the train has passed. Of course this wouldn't be quite as helpful in an area where there are really loooooong trains that transport materials. But where I live, they are short commuter trains that pass fairly quickly and often.
tchaikovsky, Dec 08 2004


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