I know there’s a lot planned for the village, but I have one simple question: What in the hell is wrong with that traffic light at the intersection of Linglestown Road and Colonial Road?
You know the one; at the corner with Sheetz, Weis, and KoKoMo’s Aroogas. Whenever I’m travelling from Harrisburg, that light turns red. Always. I have never, ever — in my eleven years of living in the area — made it through that light while it was green.
At first I assumed it was some sort of clever, hidden speed enforcement method. Maybe there are two pressure sensors, and if you’re going over 40mph, you’ll cycle the light. Or maybe it’s timed to other area lights, like Second Street in midtown Harrisburg (ever notice how you’ll nail every green light as it changes if you start at Forester and drive exactly 25mph?). But I’ve tested it at and below the speed limit, and it doesn’t make a difference. So scratch those ideas.
Then I started thinking that maybe there was some sort of goofy cross traffic, like a vehicle that had turned right on red just before I approached. But since the intersection is deserted when I drive through (usually around 1am), that’s not likely. And the consistency of the event slams the book shut on that theory.
My next thought was that maybe the Linglestown planners are just jerks. But it’s a pretty nice village, and that doesn’t seem like the kind of behavior to fit the community.
So I’m left with two possible theories:
The first, and most ominous, is that Sheetz has secretly infiltrated the highest echelons of our government. That’s right: PennDOT. Somewhere deep in the hidden bureaucratic mazes of PennDOT Galactic Control sits a Sheetz employee whose sole purpose in life is to drive traffic to convenient and friendly Sheetz Locations by diverting adjacent traffic through the timely manipulation of traffic control devices. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stopped at that damned red light and thought “Well since I’m here, I might as well go inside for some delicious, delicious Sheetz coffee. I wonder if this morning’s always-fresh pastries are out yet?” For me personally, that single light has easily diverted several thousand dollars from my checking account to Sheetz over the years.
And maybe it doesn’t stop there. Our entire Interstate system was mostly built in the 1960s and 1970s. During that exact same timeframe, Sheetz was rapidly expanding from one location in 1962 to nearly 100 stores at the close of the 1970s. Through the marvels of modern highway engineering, our interstate highways provide speedy access through convenient, easy-to-find interchanges. And were are most Sheetz stores found? At convenient, easy-to-find locations! Sheetz has 344 locations spread out across multiple states; you know what ELSE spreads out across multiple states? The Interstate system! Coincidence? I think not. Could Sheetz’s founders have had a hand in the development of our modern roadway infrastructure? Maybe that stretch of abandoned Turnpike was actually a small fragment of some long-forgotten Sheetz drive-thru experiment, the scale of which we may never truly appreciate.
Perhaps selling delicious food, inexpensive gas, and the best gas-station coffee you’ll ever drink wasn’t enough; perhaps Sheetz has had a larger, more sinister plan in the works for longer than we can imagine! If they’ve managed to infiltrate our commonwealth’s Department of Transportation — a prestigious, well-organized government entity whose efficiency and friendly service have made it the object of envy among developed nations around the world — who’s to say where their reach ends? You may think that South Front Street complex is pretty spiffy right now, but just wait until you can order an MTO while while waiting for your number to come up in the queue. Motor vehicle registration? More like Awesome 12-Inch Meatball On Wheat (With Parmesan) Registration!
The second possibility is that someone wired the light wrong.
Either way, please fix it.