To The Editor: Is this traffic light acting weird?

Happy New Year, everybody! Let’s start 2019 off right, by trying to answer a question from a reader:

“One of the green lights was out at the junction of 95 at the Sandbar. Since it was repaired, the default green light has been changed to the traffic that crosses the highway on to the river road! Am I the only one noticing this?”

– What About Lallygagging Lights

Answer below.

Thanks for the question, WALL. The timing of traffic signals is something people get very used to when they go through the same ones multiple times a day. This is one that I myself am very used to, and I too noticed this timing change a few weeks ago.

(For those who aren’t familiar with her description, WALL’s question is about the set of traffic lights a few miles north of Parker, AZ at the intersection of State Route 95 and Business 95 / Riverside Drive. If you’re going north out of the town of Parker, a left turn at this signal will take you along the Colorado River.)

Normally, the lights at this intersection will stay green for 55 miles per hour highway traffic, unless there are vehicles wanting to cross the highway between Riverside Drive and Beacon Road opposite. This means that, if all the roads were completely empty for an hour, the lights would stay green to keep traffic flowing on Highway 95 by default, without changing.

But WALL appears to be right! The lights now default to RED on the highway, and GREEN crossing it. This is very odd behavior, to say the least, so I asked the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) about it.

After multiple emails back and forth, ADOT sent someone to check the signal, and they say it seems fine to them:

“Our crews have checked the traffic signals at that intersection and reported that everything is working properly. If that does not seem to be the case, please don’t hesitate to contact me again and I will ask for a second check. Thanks.” – Tom Herrmann, Public Information Officer, ADOT

Rather than ask for a second check by ADOT, I thought I’d put it out to you, Parker Live readers. Is WALL right, as I suspect? Is the default signal now stopping highway traffic, unless some vehicles come along to trigger a green? If so, and if ADOT doesn’t see a problem, do you think this is a problem?

I must confess, on several occasions recently, while coming toward this intersection from the river side, I’ve kind of appreciated the friendly green. But if you’re coming from further upriver or from Lake Havasu City on the highway, it’s gotta be annoying. Right?

Let us know what you think.



  1. Katrina Marie

    I drive through this light 2 times a day if not 4 and it’s so annoying how fast it changes. It’s like super sensor ???? when I can see the car before they even make it to the line on riverside dr the light immediately changes to red. Most of the time I’m caught slamming on my breaks ????

  2. Gindy Lynn Wilson

    I drive from Havasu every day and its very annoying.

  3. Nicole Moorman Rovey

    It definitely is not working properly. It turns red for HWY 95 traffic for no reason.

  4. Jillian Sleppy

    Definitely not working properly

  5. John D. Croteau

    They need to change backback the way it was. Total waste of time and fuel.

  6. I noticed the change immediately after the ADOT construction zone signage went up on 95. I assumed for safety ADOT had set it to some sort of manual default mode to break up traffic flow through the duration of the road repair project.

    It was definitely set to a timer for each direction, no relation to traffic in the area. Seems to be back to normal now.

  7. Dennis- The light responded to vehicles before, as it does now, but the directions have been switched (now, traffic ACROSS the highway is green-lit by default, rather than the other way around as it used to be).

  8. Terilyn Gary

    Does that mean a wrong way driver has been detected?

  9. Not familiar with that particular intersection but the default to green should go to the lane with the highest posted speed limit based on the difference of the fuel required to return to the posted speed limit after a stop. Consider yourself lucky, the signals on 95 through town will cause most vehicles to have to stop at almost all the lights. Instead of timing them so a vehicle moving at the posted speed limit can hit most of the lights green most of them change same color same time…your light turns green at the same time the next one does and by the time you get there it has turned red…you can hit most of them green if you travel 72-73 mph but I don’t recommend it… there is always plan B most signals in high traffic area have a sensor that respond to the flashing lights of emergency vehicles….3 quick flashes of your high beams will usually get a green light ..NOT something you should do if your lights might cause visibility issues for other drivers and not something you need to be doing if there is leo around

  10. The light changes now even if someone is just wanting to turn right towards town. That’s easily accomplished without stopping the whole highway.

  11. Margaret Payne

    Thanks for looking into this and trying. Hopefully more feed back to you will give enough info to request that second check

  12. Chris Wagner

    Was at this intersection last week making left onto river. Very quick green to red.

  13. John Wolf

    I’m not the only grumpy one Lucky

  14. Mike Minery

    doesn’t stay green long enough

  15. Joe Sena

    no. sometimes I pull up waiting for left turn and it goes to green with a walk signal for b-95 and no one is even around to push the button or make it change

  16. Joe Sena

    mulberry !!!!! and now.. they are adding yet ANOTHER signal in lhc

  17. FYI: THe Az law states that the yellow light supposed to be not less than 5 seconds, crossing an Az highway.
    Up here in Havasu, there are a quite few lights that can change quickly…do not know if this has contributed to any accidents we have here, however, I think the sensors, sense the vehicles and this causes a quick change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *