Tue 11 Apr 2006
Today I found out that the City of Berkeley does not change the timing of traffic lights with daylight savings time. How? Well, I'll tell ya:
When I moved to a new house last June, I started taking a new bike route to campus (of course), straight down Telegraph Ave. Stopped at one light at a major intersection, I began to challenge myself to get to the light at the next block before the little 'walk' signal started counting down to 0 for a yellow light. I almost always got there.
But then, sometime last Fall, I began to notice that it was much, much harder for me to do. In fact, I was barely getting to that next light before it changed. From a dead stop at the previous light, I'd have to really push it, just so I wouldn't have to stop at the next light too. (Unlike most cyclists in Berkeley, I follow the traffic laws.) Then today, I happened to be riding and noticed that I had no trouble beating the light – in fact it was still on the 'walk' sign as I passed through.
And all of a sudden it dawned on me – daylight savings time. Last week it switched, and today was the first time that I noticed the difference. Apparently Berkeley doesn't change the timing of their lights to accommodate the 1 hour shift. That seems awfully silly and unsophisticated to me. Not to mention probably detrimental for rush-hour traffic. But it made for an interesting bike ride today…