Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Flashing lights - what do you think?

Mesa is going in with the school districts to place flashing lights in several school zones. The total cost to the city is $92,000 to place the lights at 6 Mesa district and 2 Gilbert district schools. The city has found that these measures reduce speeds near schools by at least 5 mph. So, what are your thoughts on this?

On one hand, this is taxpayer money in a tough time. Yes, it's transportation sales tax dollars, but just like anything else, you have to weigh perception against the facts. Voters will look and see that city workers are being laid off, yet things like blinking lights are being installed. It's not that the lights are bad, but voters don't view certain money coming from specific pots.

On the other hand, how much is a life worth? If this slows down drivers to save a single life, isn't that worth $92,000? Many people would prefer the blinking lights to photo enforcement or speed bumps or any of the other alternatives.

Is this the right thing to do regardless of the timing? Is it a bureaucratic decision being made outside the realm of public perception? With so many distractions - cell phones, construction signs, campaign signs - are blinking lights enough?

Share your thoughts in the comments section or via twitter @mesaissues.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The reasoning behind the flashers is good. But the question should be, do they do any good? 5 mph to me isn't enough of a reduction to me to warrent the cost.

When do we take responsibility for our actions instead of relying upon government to warn us of a possible danger.

Government was not impliment to protect us and others from our faults but to protect our God given right to make stupid choices.