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Archive for Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lightning sparks traffic signal malfunctions

July 15, 2009

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Lightning sparks traffic signal malfunctions

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. Enlarge video

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.

Comments

kusp8 5 years, 5 months ago

It was Voldemort upset that us muggles saw the new Harry Potter movie.

(As I was typing this a Harry Potter trailer came on TV...I think it's a sign)

mdrndgtl 5 years, 5 months ago

I too was hit by a 100-million volt sword of eletricity and it made me immortal...

The_Voice_of_Reason 5 years, 5 months ago

“We had a lot of malfunctions all over town.” Since when is that news? I could name a bunch of stop lights around town that need to be recalibrated...

BigPrune 5 years, 5 months ago

The traffic light (specifically the left turn signal for westbound traffic turning south) at Clinton Parkway and Wakarusa must've been hit by lightning weeks ago because that sucker is screwed up and stays red for who knows how long.

The City needs to also fix all the potholes around that intersection.

gr 5 years, 5 months ago

"“We had a lot of malfunctions all over town.” Since when is that news? "

I thought you were going to say most of them were located at a certain area on sixth street.

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