most civil engineers aren't dumb
I call bullshit
Lights would be far more efficient if they would simply put the detectors further from the lights so they determine how many cars are approaching from all directions. Currently the detectors are right next to the lights. All over my town (SoCal) I watch vehicles traveling in waves, and each wave gets a red light because a single vehicle beat the wave to the detector. It appears to be the most inefficient way to allow cross traffic for a modern society with computing capabilities. It looks like the same algorithm used in the seventies and only slightly more efficient as a light on a timer.
Competition is *always* good.
All generalizations are bad.
Sometimes it is a race to the bottom, which can be bad.