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Friday fun post: 1950 Buzzer showcases the heart of the traffic light system

Friday fun post: 1950 Buzzer showcases the heart of the traffic light system

The Buzzer from July 7, 1950 showed the lamppost that controlled traffic lights in Vancouver's business district.

Here’s another classic Buzzer for our first sunny Friday. The July 7, 1950 issue spent most of its time discussing the lamppost that controlled a key part of Vancouver’s traffic light system in 1950!

Here’s the tantalizing introduction :

The city’s most complicated lamp-post stands near the Courthouse on Howe Street. It looks like a thousand others around town as you walk by. Only this lamp-post ticks, quietly and without pause, day in and day out, 365 days a year.

If the ticking ever stops, look out!

Like a heart quitting, it would create almost instant paralysis . . . all over downtown Vancouver traffic would bog down and clot.

For this lamp-post, ladies and gentlemen, houses the devices that control and coordinate traffic lights throughout the city’s chief business area.

The Buzzer goes on to describe the light system’s operation in great detail, and there’s lots of then-new facts about how the city’s traffic flows worked: Seymour and Howe were two-way streets and carried just 800 vehicles a day, and the opening of the Granville Street Bridge was highly anticipated — it would boost Seymour and Howe’s capacity to 1800 vehicles a day!

(Question: does anyone know where this lamppost might have been? Would be neat if a remnant is still there!)

And also, let’s test out the WordPress poll plugin, that is purported to work on the blog now! You should also be able to see it in the right hand sidebar, if you’re on the actual Buzzer site.

What would you like to see in the Friday fun post?

  • Jewels from the Buzzer archives (48%, 31 Votes)
  • Polls (42%, 27 Votes)
  • Other (suggest in the comments?) (9%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 64

Consider this a rehash of last week’s small discussion, but now with a quantitative element! Feel free to make suggestions for Friday fun post content in the comments.