Sideways stoplights in RC

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If you’ve traveled in western Rancho Cucamonga along Foothill Boulevard of late, you may have noticed with curiosity the new traffic lights at Baker Avenue just east of the new overhead crossing. The lights are arranged horizontally, not vertically.

What gives? Is this temporary, or a retro design to match the bridge? Neither. Curt Billings, associate city engineer for Rancho Cucamonga, said it was done to ensure motorists heading east could see all three phases of the signal from as far away as possible.

“The signal heads were rotated horizontally to increase the sight distance for eastbound traffic because of the overhead obstruction of the bridge,” Billings says by email. “This horizontally mounted signal head provides the greatest amount of time to see all the lights, most importantly the red light, and as far ahead as San Bernardino Road.”

There’s a second signal like this in Rancho Cucamonga, at the intersection of Etiwanda and Miller avenues, due to sight issues because of the 15 freeway overpass, Billings said.

Nice to know that Rancho Cucamonga doesn’t mind bending over backward, or at least tipping sideways, to make us safe.

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  • Ramona

    I’m glad you gave us a heads-up. Otherwise, on first seeing these signals, I would have believed I had driven into a foreign county – the UK, perhaps? – where all the signals are horizontal.

    Still gonna give me pause, though. I’ll bet I won’t be the only one.

  • Doug Evans

    I’ve always wondered with those sideways lights… How do color-blind people read them? I figure color blind drivers know red is on top and green on bottom on a regular traffic light, but do they know to go left-to-right on a sideways light?

    Maybe more of a rhetorical question than anything, but, you know… curious.

    [Pray you get there when the light is in the middle, so you know it’s yellow and you can stop or floor it, whichever your preference. — DA]