My 15 Minutes of Internet Fame

Back in the olden days of a dozen years ago, before iPhones and Facebook, the Internet was still being discovered and figured out by millions. And it was a time when putting up your own website could make front page news.

The closest major roadway to our home had been recently widened from 2 lanes to spacious 4 lanes with a turn lane. Life was good. But then someone had to ruin it by installing a strange traffic light at our home intersection.

The traffic light had a turn lane signal, but held a solid red while the ongoing traffic was green (rather than the traditional, yield / turn on green).

This led to backed up traffic where there was none before. I wanted to do something to get the situation fixed. Then in one of those ‘ah ha’ moments that occurs during a morning shower - it occurred to me that putting up a website could be a fun way to do it. I searched and purchased a domain and began working on content to prove my point.

I took photos, had charts, quoted traffic engineering info. Overkill? Maybe.

A comment board was placed on it for my fellow ‘net-citizens’ to state their opinions.

After going live I was a bit blown away by the response. It was an early example of local activism through the Internet. And it got attention from the media, and from the Tennessee Department of Transportation. TDOT actually got a good laugh out of it. The traffic light was changed out with a more logical arrangement. They claimed it was going to be fixed anyway. But most folks (and I) thought the website and public outcry played a big part.

The Traffic Light was Fixed within 60-days

From the Comments Page 2004

Please know that several members of my staff have been in contact with the City of Lakesite and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (who have control over this light) to correct the problem. County Commissioner & Chairman, Fred Skillern
We have been talking with TDOT about the problem since July. David Edwards, City Manager Lakesite, TN
The website address [] is a very interesting site and well put together. TDOT
I have been a police officer for more than 18 years, and this traffic light is the most stupid thing I have ever had to deal with. Jimmy C.
I called TDOT several weeks ago concerning the subject light. I received a letter from TDOT and was surprised that it was written with a crayon. The writer explained that they were not allowed to have sharp objects in their office. Tony D.
I formed a group to raise money in support of installing an enormous fog horn right at the intersection that will blow every time the light turns green in order to wake drivers up who have fallen asleep. Tom G.
Just do what I do turn on red no matter what. And, if your in line just go around them and turn anyway. "Hixson Guy"
Kudos to the webmaster for a well organized, very informative site. I wish you well on your crusade. Nate S.
Oh Bless you, Its about time somebody gripped about this light... Michelle