Florida traffic lights

I’ve just returned from spending 3 weeks down in siesta key, florida.
I have been to almost all 50 states, and have driven in every state I’ve been to.
What in the world is the deal with traffic lights in florida?
They are no less than twice as long as any others in the entire nation, I swear!

There was one we timed at exactly 4 and 1/2 minutes! (that was the longest one). 4 minutes at a red light seems like eternity.

Don’t the locals scream at their elected officials over this? Everyone there I talked to said they were disgusted by them.

Why are they so long, and why do the locals tolorate it?

During the tourist season, traffic gets horribly congested here in sunny Florida. Lights have to be long in order to process the volume of cars that stack up. As it is, blocked intersections are not uncommon.

Yes, some lights are horrible. But once you know your way around, you learn to avoid the really bad ones.

Since Florida is flat and most roads are straight and without unexpected dead ends, there’s usually a lot of ways to get from point A to point B. It’s pretty simple to vary your route depending on traffic and those pesky red lights.

Sometimes though, you can’t escape it and get hopelessly stuck in a looooong line at a light. That’s when it pays to have a good stereo system!

And that’s another thing I noticed. A lot of the new stoplights that I encountered in Florida were flat. Red wasn’t “on top”.

That’s actually quite common. I’ve seen it in almost every state I’ve been in. Most lights are like that around where I live and work.

I hardly ever see stop lights with a vertical orientation. The ones I’ve seen are typically the really old ones - ones that hang from a wire strung between two utility poles on opposite sides of a street. All the lights I’ve seen that are less than 20 years old are horizontally-oriented.

Your vacation in Siesta Key doesn’t mean you’ve been to every county in Florida. Each local county in Florida is in charge of regulating their traffic lights. I’m not sure about that county, but in my county in Florida each intersection is continuously regulated by sensors. The traffic lights adhere to timing made by a computer that optomizes the lights in relation to the number of cars. During times of heavy traffic, this usually means 5 minutes of waiting. During the middle of the night, the light turns green as soon as your car hits the sensor (assuming there’s no other cars).

Does anybody else have this system in their county?