No, it doesn’t take more than a minute to walk across Sixth Street. And beacons normally don’t flash for school zones at 2 p.m. on a Sunday.
Then again, power lines and electronic equipment can’t always swallow a 100 million-volt sword of electricity from the sky, either.
“We had a lot of lightning across town this weekend,” said David Woosley, the city’s traffic/transportation engineer. “We had a lot of malfunctions all over town.”
Woosley said his department had been responding to intermittent reports of odd-acting signals, in the wake of thunderstorms overnight Saturday. The most prevalent: school-zone beacons flashing at incorrect times, spurring drivers to slow to 20 mph on stretches of 27th Street, Ousdahl Road and Locust Street, among others.
A pedestrian signal at Sixth and Michigan streets also might have suffered such a jolt, Woosley said. Wednesday morning, the signal had been counting down from at least the 60s.
Such pedestrian signals normally start with a walk signal, followed by a countdown of 10, 15, or maybe 20 seconds before turning red.
The numbers are designed to give walkers a countdown — formally known as a “clearance interval” — that is equivalent to the amount of time normally required to cross the street, he said.
Crews have been busy resetting equipment as needed following the storm, Woosley said, but so far, at least, no replacement circuits or wiring have been necessary.