Letter to the Editor: Ineffective traffic directors

As I was leaving campus this evening, I was immediately concerned when I realized that the FIU police was directing the traffic at the intersection of 109th Ave. and University Drive. Traveling east on University Drive in order to leave campus, I needed to make the left turn onto 109th. With this in mind I turned on my indicator and waited for the cop to allow me to go.

Imagine my surprise when he motioned for me to continue going straight despite the fact that I obviously wanted to turn. When I physically alerted him to my desire (by pointing in the direction I wanted to go) he continued to wave me on, so I did, quietly voicing my displeasure to myself. At this point he felt it was appropriate to start screaming at me, “I told you, you could turn.”

Let me make this clear. No, you didn’t.

If you are facing south on 109th and motioning traffic headed east on University Drive with your right arm wind-milling across the front of your body, said arm is directing us to continue in that direction. If it had just been me, I’d say that I misunderstood but both the two vehicles preceding me and the one following me all interpreted him the same way and ended up having to go around the back and through PG5 to get back to 109th. In actuality, to indicate to a driver that they can make a turn, the person directing traffic first points at the driver and then motions them to the direction they want to go. If you’re turning left, I point to you and then swing my arm to the left indicating the path of motion.

It also didn’t help that both he and the other officers in his company were standing in the lanes of traffic making it impossible to turn without running one of them over. For the average person, when someone is actively blocking your path, it typically means they don’t want you to go that way. Given that FIU just spent all that money on the new traffic lights — because, obviously an all-way-stop was too difficult a concept to grasp– shouldn’t we at least use it? Even if it is only to watch pedestrians trying to scurry across six lanes of traffic in under 30 seconds.

Britt Turnquest
Graduate Student
Chemistry Department