WAMU 88.5 : News

Traffic Light Computer System Restored In Montgomery County

Play associated audio
Montgomery County suffered some light synchronization problems along the I-270 corridor Wednesday morning.
Montgomery County suffered some light synchronization problems along the I-270 corridor Wednesday morning.

The lights were on Wednesday morning, but overnight storms knocked out the computer system that times them during rush hour periods. The system allows for longer green light cycles to accomodate heavier traffic going in certain directions on certain roads. The outage only affected roads north of the Beltway.

Crews worked all morning and into the afternoon to make sure the lights would be fine for the afternoon rush hour. About half of the 800 traffic lights in the county are timed with the computer system, and the outage affected approximately 200 of them. The county wants to have all 800 lights on the automated system by 2012. When that occurs, a county spokeswoman says large-scale outages like Wednesday morning's should no longer occur.

This outage is different than that of one that occurred two years ago, when the system failed for all roads in the county. That was attributed to a computer error.

WAMU 88.5

Remains In Jamestown Linked To Early Colonial Leaders

Scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation say they've identified four men buried in the earliest English church in America.

Me-Tea-Morphosis: Tea Bags Get Second Life As Works Of Art

Artists are reinventing the humble tea bag, letting its contents and simple shape and color shine in beautiful, fragile art. Some are even farming out the tea drinking to get to the used bags.

After Hope For Early Release, Prisoners' Applications Stuck In Limbo

The Obama administration offered help to nonviolent offenders like Dana Bowerman, but more than half the applications sent to the Clemency Project 2014 have not been processed.

Researchers Warn Against 'Autonomous Weapons' Arms Race

Already, researcher Stuart Russell says, sentry robots in South Korea "can spot and track a human being for a distance of two miles – and can very accurately kill that person."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.