Panama is a fairly small country with a cosmopolitan capital city. Within Panama City you can find just about anything you may need. Once you leave Panama City, that’s not always the case. Panama’s interior towns are so small that up until last week, you couldn’t even find a traffic light outside of the capital.
The capital of Herrera province, Chitre, is Panama’s only interior town to have a traffic light. The light is located at the intersection near the McDonald’s and the Banco Nacional. Drivers were immediately confused by this new light in their hometown. There used to be traffic lights throughout the country, but most of them fell in to disrepair and were removed.
The morning the light was installed, the north-south bound traffic was given flashing yellow lights, while the east-west traffic was given flashing reds. Four-way stops are not common in Panama, nor are temporary lights that need to be treated as such. Drivers were stopping at the flashing red lights for half an hour waiting for the light to turn green.
Once the lights were fully functional later in the afternoon, traffic was backed up for quite some time. Most likely the intention of the traffic light was to ease traffic congestion in that area, but it did the opposite. Panama City has a new traffic jam rival, Chitre.
Hopefully once area drivers get used to the new traffic signals, congestion will ease and motorists will see the benefit of these lights. Until then, motorists will most likely be cursing the only traffic signal outside of Panama City.
If you can think of a traffic light that is currently in use outside of Panama City, let us know!
|Written by Rebecca Tyre|
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