A green light to urban bliss

It’s rarely a bucolic journey driving in downtown Reading.First of all, you’re riding in tandem with the anxiety of not knowing whether at any moment a ricocheting bullet is going to zing some bark off your windshield or your forehead.Even worse, you invariably hit so many red lights you swear you’re inhabiting a red-light district even when you’re aren’t inching past Seventh and Franklin.And now that there are so many nocturnal festivities transpiring at the Sovereign Center and the Sovereign Performing Arts Center, gridlock is as much a part of our urban landscape as trash.Little wonder a civic pall hangs over our fair city. Let’s face it: Folks stuck in traffic aren’t smiley people. Patience quickly wears thinner than Paris Hilton if you spend an eternity waiting for a green light. My wife once knitted an entire sweater while stuck at a red light at Fourth and Penn. I know. I was there — sitting beside her and swearing a Technicolor blue streak.Well — a drum roll please — there’s good news on the cue. Soon downtown traffic will flow as regally as the Nile River. Thanks to a $529,000 signal upgrade, new signals will be installed at 58 downtown intersections. The signals will be linked to a computerized network that will enable traffic planners to synchronize the lights and adjust them for periods of heavy traffic. By fall, traffic should zip through town like baked beans through a goose.After that, all we have to do is draw a line through the trash with a coordinated citywide hauling plan and put a muzzle on all the guns.Then rename Reading, well, Nirvana.