Most Montgomery County traffic signals are operating properly in Montgomery County again following a breakthrough in repair efforts during the Thursday evening rush, County Executive Isiah Leggett announced Thursday evening.
"Engineers have isolated the problem and have been successful in reestablishing the connection between the computer and the traffic signals, with the result that most of the intersection signals are now responding to our commands," Leggett said in a statement released at about 6 p.m.
Some individual signals are not yet consistently responding, and the county is working on them.
Thursday afternoon, the county struck a chord of terror through area commuters by reporting that they couldn't make a quick fix and would have to remain on the six-year plan to replace the Automated Traffic Management System (ATMS) equipment. That's the offending computer.
Officials said they would have to try to manually adjust the timing of the 100 busiest intersections in the county by Monday.
Leggett assured that he -- and his wife -- shared commuters' pain.
"Yesterday morning, my wife, who was stuck in traffic, called me on the telephone, and she said, 'I'm calling you not as your wife, but as a constituent, and I want you to do something about the predicament that I'm in,'" Leggett said. "It so happened I was in the same predicament, unable to get to the location that I wanted to go to in a timely fashion."
But now it appears most things will be back to normal for Friday's morning rush. Ride On buses still will be free Friday, Leggett said, as they were Thursday.
ATMS flipped out at about 3 a.m. Wednesday, preventing about 750 traffic signals from switching to rush-hour timing, which made a mess of traffic on Montgomery County roads.
For the long term, Leggett has asked for a plan to accelerate the $35 million replacement of the traffic management system.