Lack of Traffic Signal Backup Power Factored in Carmageddon: COG

Many traffic signals in the region have no backup power supply

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kelli tolocka

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments held a meeting Wednesday to discuss the reasons behind traffic gridlock during the major snowstorm in January 2011.

Downed traffic signals kept many drivers on the roads for hours. A report released by the agency recently found that many of the issues faced by commuters could be traced to signals that did not have a "backup" power supply.

"Only 20 percent of the thousands of signals in the area have backup power in the case of an emergency," said Ron Kirby, of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Kirby also said that the agency will work to identify the most important traffic signals in the region and find money to make sure those traffic lights get backup power. 

Another topic at Wednesday’s meeting was the communication between the agencies that monitor roads in Virginia, Maryland and the District during major weather events in the region.   


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