I regret to inform you all that my forum is no longer available. I’m not sure if you got the farewell letter that I sent to everyone on the forum two months back. Recent events have led me to a downward spiral that caused me to shut my forum down….permanently. This is a long story and I hope anyone who reads this will do me the honor of reading this. The story Matt’s telling everyone is missing a lot of information.
I’m sure you’re aware that I got banned from Highway Divides in 2016. Which caused some back-and-forth drama between me and Matt Cornely. This lasted years. Because of this, I am now the most hated person in the signal community.
Matt is also from the Philadelphia area just like I am, so this entire incident hits closer to home
In 2016 I made an account on Highway Divides after someone from Aaroads referred me. I was a rookie when it came to traffic signals, not knowing a lot of things about them. I was stupid enough not to read the forum policy and terms. Matt gave me the first strike for posting too often on Highway Divides, he told me to stop.
I also had a habit of stealing other people’s photos without giving them credit, since there weren’t that many interesting or old signals in the neighborhood I lived in.
I made a comment about a set of traffic lights being so old that I said “The people who have installed them are so old, that they’re probably dead or demented by now”. Matt took offense and suspended me for 3 days that. I made a fake account to get around the suspension.
Matt Cornely accused me of lying about my age, when I said I was 14 when other members of the forum were questioning my age, at the time, which was true, Matt rounded it to the nearest due to me being born in 2001, and assumed I was already 15.
He also suspended me because I was using other people’s photos without credit. When he lifted the suspension, I was doing pretty well afterward, I had accidentally used someone else’s photo again, and didn’t give them credit until later on, I was then permanently banned.
I got so mad I cursed Matt out through the email and then he blocked me. Mind you, my autism was a lot worse at the time, so a lot of things I did at the time were because my judgement was very clouded due to my mental disability.
I tried to get back in again with another Gmail, but Matt caught me because the IP address matched the one of my original account. I tried to sneak back again using the hotel Wi-Fi, and he caught me again and denied registration. Matt then called my phone provider to block me from accessing Highway Divides using my phone’s data plan.
I snuck in again with a fake account in 2017, under an account a friend had made for me, I was on there for a month before I did something stupid and mentioned my old account. People were then talking trash about how I was very naïve and how out of touch with reality I was.
I was banned again after being caught with the fake account due to the fact that I mentioned my old one.
Matt then chewed me out after I made an angry post on Aaroads about getting caught trying to get back into Highway Divides.
My contact with Matt took a backseat in 2018 and 2019 and I tried to enjoy the hobby without the use of HD. It felt very lonely.
I met some traffic signal collectors on YouTube in Summer 2019 in a group chat (back when YouTube had chats). YouTube ended the chat feature shortly after. We then created a group chat on Instagram that we would use to communicate back and forth regularly.
During the first year of the pandemic, I joined some traffic signal themed Facebook groups. Matt made snarky comments on some of my posts, and put a thumbs up on all the comments correcting me for misinformation.
I argued with him in the comments after he made snarky comments on that post “you’re treating me this way because you can’t let go of what I’ve done in the past”. I deleted that comment. He then complained to the Facebook group admins of that group and I got suspended from there for 5 months.
I sent Matt an apology email after that whole conundrum. He dismissed my apology and wrote it off as me manipulating him to let me back on his forum. I made it VERY CLEAR in the emails that I was not interested in him lifting the ban, he again, continued to write it off as me begging him to let me back on. I also told him that I have autism, which made it more difficult to control the behaviors he took issue to, he dismissed that entirely.
During that time, I began my own forum, at first people were on board and started registering and using it, but then it slowly became less and less active due to Highway Divides getting a major software update. People on the Instagram chat were also talking about how Highway Divides was better than my forum. I voiced this to a friend of mine (this was a different guy than the one who made the account in 2017) he made a fake account for me on Highway Divides, I deleted the first one he made, and he made a second one behind my back. He allowed me to use the second burner account he had made but I didn’t post anything offensive. He then went on a thread about gas prices and made a joke saying “oh nobody is going to go electric”. Matt edited his post and then he got into an argument with him in the private chat. Matt banned him after he told him to “shove a traffic light up his ass”.
I became cool with one of Matt’s friends, Ian Anderson, on social media and everything was good until I mentioned Matt’s name, and Ian blocked me because I was talking about how Matt still wouldn’t forgive me after I made a joke about Matt yelling at me for getting mad about my favorite signal getting replaced by McCains.
Months later my friend sent a nasty email to Matt about me. Saying that it was too cruel of him to ban me from Highway Divides and how I made a mistake due to having autism. He even peppered some sexual innuendo in the email too. He told Matt that “taking a picture of my groin and painting a traffic light on it and posting it on Highway Divides would’ve been an offense worthy of being banned” and what I actually got banned for was no big deal.
I spiraled out of control due to lack of support of my forum. Many people who said would help me, jumped ship and joined Highway Divides. I felt as though that Matt was still very hurt by my actions, so I reached out to Matt again so I could give him a more thorough apology. Matt indirectly mentioned me in a post when I continued talking to several people over social media about my sadness over being banned from Highway Divides due to how unsuccessful my forum ended up.
He blocked me on his Highway Divides Facebook page for trying to apologize again. Probably under the impression that I wanted him to lift the ban.
I then recruited people to contact him so I could reach out to him in an attempt to make amends with Matt. Since I really wanted to have this monkey off my back in order to be on good terms with Matt and have closure, even if it meant still not being able to get back on Highway Divides. He, just like before, wrote this off as me trying to get people to convince him to let me back on.
Matt made a post on Highway Divides about me, and people in the comments section of that thread were trashing/shit talking me. Talking about how annoying I am and that they’re sick of me bitching about being banned from Highway Divides.
Because of this, something inside me finally broke. All my attempts to make amends with Matt failed miserably. People began attacking me all over social media after they saw this post on Highway Divides. Anytime I tried to voice my side of the story people wrote them off as “sob stories”. Some people blocked me as well. This caused me to finally delete my forum, to leave every signal group on Facebook and Instagram and give up on the traffic signal hobby completely.
This website will eventually be on it’s way out as well.