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Breakthrough in Montgomery County traffic signal problem

As Montgomery County commuters suffered through their fourth nightmarish rush hour Thursday, county officials said computer experts finally had isolated the central computer problem that caused the traffic signal system to meltdown.

"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," said County Executive Isiah Leggett.

County traffic engineers and outside consultants had been vexed by the problem for 40 hours, unable to manage the county's more than 750 traffic signals, whose daily timing patterns normally are changed throughout the day to accommodate the ebb and flow of traffic. A few signals still were balking at commands from the revived central computer, Leggett said, but most were responding.

"We will continue to monitor it throughout the evening and overnight but we anticipate that tomorrow morning's rush hour will be much smoother," he said.
-Ashley Halsey III

By Michael Bolden  |  November 5, 2009; 6:11 PM ET
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I wonder if the change from daylight savings time last weekend played a part in the computer crash? On Monday, the computer could have been off by an hour and the techs were trying to fix it and the system locked up. Possibility? It will be interesting if MoCo provides a full accounting of what happened. Just glad its fixed, I hope.

Posted by: Greenwood2 | November 5, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Radio reports have it that the failure was a hardware problem. The computer was okay. It was sending commands to the lights. Only the lights were not getting the message.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | November 5, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

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