If it feels like you sit forever at the traffic light at Farmers Lane and Fourth Street/Highway 12, that’s because it is Santa Rosa’s longest light, taking a full 130 seconds to make a full cycle. That’s because so many streets feed into that intersection and require a left hand turn option.

Steele Lane carries the most traffic, which is why the light at Steele and Armory/Illinois is the city’s second longest, requiring 120 seconds to complete a cycle, according to Santa Rosa Traffic Engineer Rob Sprinkle. Other lights take 120 seconds or less to complete a cycle unless the light is changing to adapt to traffic flow or an emergency vehicle.

Readers added these to the “longest traffic light” list:

–Stony Point Road where  it intersects with Hearn, Bellevue and College. “Leaving Finley Park to turn left onto southbound Stony Point is ridiculous,” writes Jeff. “It can take up to five minutes waiting for the light to change, even at light traffic times.”

–Guerneville Road frustrates readers at intersections with Lance Drive and Herbert Street. “Guerneville and Lance Drive is so long drivers regularly drive through the red light,” writes Mike. “I’ve seen 15 cars waiting.”

–Humboldt and College

–Jennings and Marlow

–Vallejo Street at Farmers Lane

–Sonoma Avenue at Farmers Lane, especially between 5:45 and 6 p.m.

Still want more? Read an interview with Rob Sprinkle about how traffic lights work, or don’t work, HERE.




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  1. lstohl

    What’s the origin of the no right on red from any direction at the corner of Humboldt and College? That light really does take forever and usually I’m just sitting and waiting for it to turn when there isn’t anyone coming in either direction on College (bicycle or car). Seems pretty ridiculous since there aren’t any restrictions from turning right on a red on any of the other JC neighborhood streets off College – not even Mendocino which gets WAY more foot traffic and bikes…? I’ve seen police in the parking lot on the North side of Humboldt waiting for people to get annoyed and make that right against the red. Maybe that’s why?

    September 5th, 2013 8:46 am

  2. James jack

    The light turning into kaiser from bicentennial is atrocious. i had my daughter there one night with a broken arm and i was ready to break the law. not the place to have a long light.

    good work city fools

    September 5th, 2013 1:50 pm

  3. Jeff T

    The light at 4th and Farmer’s isn’t the worst, in my opinion. Living near there, I go through that intersection (in various directions) daily. One good thing about it is the pattern is easily discerned, which might make it seem shorter, to me, as I know when my light is about to go green again.
    At certain times of day, other lights are terrible, and at least SEEM much longer, and many seem to be totally out of synch with traffic- especially on weekend mornings, when many thoroughfare lights will turn red for no reason, and stay for a complete cycle- all with no opposing traffic. There should be more ‘on demand’ settings for lights for light-traffic times.

    September 5th, 2013 2:05 pm

  4. Bob D.

    Is it just me or does waiting for left turn arrows seem to be taking longer? I’ve seen impatient drivers simply run red lights while waiting for a green turn arrow at Montecito/Mission.

    September 5th, 2013 2:12 pm

  5. kyle

    “What’s the origin of the no right on red from any direction at the corner of Humboldt and College?”
    That’s a bike boulevard thing. Thank your city council and self-righteous numbskulls of the bike coalition for that one.

    September 5th, 2013 2:47 pm

  6. mond

    I like to add this one – Guerneville Rd (going east) at Dutton, it’s way too long, most of the time the west bound traffic gets double green lights when there are only 1 or 2 cars going that direction or left turn onto Dutton ave (south bound).
    If there are underground sensors installed on most intersections, they must not be working, especially Jennings and Marlow Rd.
    Curious to know if some intersection still uses timed signals.

    September 5th, 2013 3:09 pm

  7. Driver

    Roundabout would solve the light delay problem… if people could figure out how they work!

    September 5th, 2013 3:16 pm

  8. Kathy

    The light at Steele Lane/Armory/Illinois is worse than 4th/Farmer’s Lane because of all the idjits turning left westbound on Steele, from Illinois/Armory–knowing the light cycle is long, about 6-9 cars block the intersection. Then the light turns green for those on Armory wanting to cross over Steele, and you can’t! I’ve been the first car at the light and had to sit through 3 or 4 light cycles before I can cross.

    Please ask SRPD why oh why can’t they put a motorcycle cop there a few days a week to just write ticket after ticket???

    September 5th, 2013 3:51 pm

  9. Jeff

    Yeah, roundabout… great idea.

    Then instead of a controlled intersection with lots of cars idling, you’d have a melee with fender benders and lots of cars idling.

    September 5th, 2013 3:56 pm

  10. Ralph

    Note that three of the intersections mentioned in the article are on Farmers Lane. The traffic is very bad now; think what it will be in 20 years. So why is CA saying they will never extend Rte 12 through land already reserved for its extension, and are thinking of releasing the corridor for a park? Hold that corridor in reserve for future leaders who can see clearer.

    September 5th, 2013 4:33 pm

  11. Andy

    “That’s a bike boulevard thing. Thank your city council and self-righteous numbskulls of the bike coalition for that one.”

    No, it’s not. It’s been no right on red at that intersection since long before the Bike Boulevard experiment. See this Road Warrior post on that from last year: http://roadwarrior.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/14109/mailbag-can-buses-be-in-no-1-lane-collegehumboldt/

    Since nobody at the City seems to know why it’s that way, how do we get it changed?

    September 5th, 2013 5:06 pm

  12. Oski

    Yes, Farmers/4th Street can be a nightmare! I go thru there a minimum of 10 times a week, but luckily I have early commute times, so the morning pass thru is a breeze. Unless, of course, the sensors get screwed up during rainy season, as they do EVERY year!

    September 6th, 2013 12:13 pm

  13. Passenger

    Turning left from Yulupa onto Hoen can often be a pain. Sometimes the light goes haywire and won’t change at all. After about 3 cycles if watching all other traffic go you eventually get the hint and just go straight.

    January 27th, 2014 4:40 pm

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