Philly drivers are crazy to begin with, but what happens when a traffic light ceases to be a traffic light?
There’s been a signal at Broad and Jackson for who knows how long, but last Friday on my way to the subway I noticed that the light was out, and the intersection was a free-for-all. The cars on Broad Street seemed to think they had the right of way (being on a wide four-lane state highway with parked cars for a median), while the cars on puny little one-lane one-way Jackson Street just tried to sneak through across the intersection. The ones turning right from Jackson onto Broad had it easier. Woe to the driver insane enough to try a left turn onto Broad!
Even though Chapter 2 of the PA Driver’s Manual, “Signs, Signals and Pavement Markings”, clearly states that “[a] non-functioning traffic signal should be treated as though it were a four-way STOP sign”, does the city of Philadelphia really expect that drivers remember those silly rules from their learner’s permit days? Apparently not! Sometime over the weekend, big bright red stop signs were installed at each corner of Broad and Jackson.
Did this help the situation? Watch and learn!
The poor woman yelling “stop sign!” at all the drivers had been walking her dog and made several attempts to cross the street. She’d been waiting for about five minutes when she finally got fed up and marched right into the intersection. I myself did the same thing, because no one—seriously, no one—was stopping for pedestrians.