A car is driven out of a residential neighborhood on a quiet, lightly traveled street. The driver stops at a traffic light where the quiet, lightly traveled residential street intersects with a busy, heavily traveled main thoroughfare.
The driver has to wait only a few seconds for his light to begin stopping scores of vehicles on the main thoroughfare. All of the many gallons of fuel used to get those cars and trucks up to the speed limit are wasted just so that lone car can get out of its neighborhood quickly and easily.
It gets worse. Now all of those vehicles, sitting at a dead stop, have to get going again. The worst mileage a vehicle gets is starting from a dead stop. This scenario occurs thousands of times every day in the Kansas City area.
Some of these "special interest" lights are for schools and other legitimate purposes. But just as many or more have no discernable purpose.
I don't know how to do the math, but I'm sure an engineer could come up with some pretty astounding figures on how much fuel is being wasted citywide. But wait! Our streets are designed by engineers.