Archived Story

‘Death Lamp’ needs to die

Published 9:59am Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This story is written by request but has a message to which many people will be able to relate to it: The Death Lamp must go!

The disproportionately timed electronic traffic lights directly in front of Ohio University Southern cause normally sane people to momentarily consider homicidal thoughts.

Someday, a major accident will take place at this intersection. And it may be bigger than just vehicles colliding. Maybe then somebody with authority will listen.

I’ve been banging this drum for a few years, but the lamps continue to sneer, taunt and create anger bordering on rage.

If you’ve ever attempted to exit on U.S. 52 at the State Route 141 exit into Ironton with hopes of getting into the left hand turn lane, you know the frustration of which I write.

The distance between the Death Lamp and the exit ramp is sufficient for approximately three cars. Since the light is red seemingly 23.5 hours per day, people who live in the south end of Ironton attempting to get home from work are continually bottlenecked by this monstrosity our city leaders continually ignore.

So they sit at the exit and stew, strongly considering the smart thing to do, which is make two rights, turn around in somebody’s driveway, and head through the green light on Liberty Avenue.

And there is more than enough green in those lights (and very little opposing traffic) for this illegal maneuver to be pulled off.


This bottleneck, which mostly happens around 4 p.m. or so on weekdays, can be completely resolved with a simple, energy efficient solution: Replace the lights with stop signs or maybe a continuous green light for those entering Ironton and caution lights on both sides of Liberty Avenue and OUS for those exiting. Or use sensors. Or shorten the amount of time the Liberty Avenue light stays green.

The majority of the headaches caused by these lights are due to the time allotted for people to turn left out of Ironton on Liberty Avenue or left out of OUS. But the percentage of people who fit this description is miniscule compared to the people who are jockeying for position in an attempt to reach their destination in Ironton.

A sane person is going to snap one day while trying to advance through this system of ill-timed lights. In the aftermath, somebody likely gets hurt. Then, out of reactive necessity, a solution will be found.

How difficult would it be to be proactive and eliminate the problem before it becomes a bigger concern?


Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at




  • Geronimo

    I agree Billy. If not a bad accident then a homicide. Been frustrated there many times. St Mary’s close now.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    It’ll be OK Billy as long as you don’t try to communicate with the lights. :)

    (Report comment)

Editor's Picks

Fundraiser set for Coal Grove teen

COAL GROVE — A community-wide effort to win Devyn Pritchard a wheelchair accessible van from a National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association contest fell short earlier ... Read more

Special needs camp teaches bike-riding

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The father didn’t want anyone to see, so he tried to casually brush them away. But the tears that welled in his ... Read more

Antique equipment shows off history

Ohio lies in a unique position within the United States, with part of the state situated in the Mid-West and the southeastern portion of the ... Read more

Unexpected heroes

Passersby help people trapped in burning house   Heroes don’t always wear capes, uniforms or badges. They aren’t always scanning the skies, or roaming alleyways ... Read more