One guy driving around the city on Tuesday noticed something odd about the city’s traffic lights during the power outage.
They weren’t working at all. They were dark as night. Kaput.
Most other cities in North America have backup power running to their traffic lights, allowing them to blink whenever there’s an outage.
It helps warn motorists about the problem. The blinking catches their eye, warning them to slow down. And it improves traffic flow.
Here, the city’s drivers are left to fend for themselves, except at a few intersections, where bylaw officers are dispatched to watch the bedlam, often from the safety of the curb.
In fact, it’s not all that dangerous. The city’s drivers are getting lots of practice handling dark intersections, and they’re getting good at it.
Still, crossing town on Tuesday afternoon was a painful process.
And it left one business manager wondering why the city doesn’t follow accepted practice across the continent and wire the lights with backup power.
When the power was relatively dependable, it probably didn’t hit city officials’ radar.
But given our near-weekly outages, it would be a good investment.
At the very least, it would help with traffic flow.