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The Daily Gripe
Posted at 01:21 PM ET, 08/11/2011

Red light, green light: Arlington fixes light cycle

A traffic light at an Arlington intersection skips green cycle. (
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Griper donincognito reported a mistimed traffic light at the intersection of S. Washington Blvd. and Columbia Pike. Arlington County investigated and addressed the quandary.

“The light at the intersection...already has a long wait time for traffic coming from the exit,” reported our Griper. The light “sometimes skips green cycles — this can be seen when the pedestrian signal will count down to red and then turn green again.”

Donincognito also noted that the light seems to skip cycles when a motorcycle is present at the intersection.

“Additionally, if the light is triggered by cars, then why the long wait cycle? It seems that one or the other would be sufficient, not a combination of both,” he said.

An Arlington County technician is examining the light to ensure it is functioning correctly, said Myllisa Kennedy, a spokeswoman for Arlington County Department of Environmental Services.

Along Columbia Pike, light timing is a coordinated system where the progression is set to favor traffic traveling on the Pike. At this particular intersection, the pedestrian signal starts to count down when a vehicle is detected at the location, according to Kennedy.

“Sometimes the countdown will begin again when a vehicle moves away from the sensor area leading the control unit to believe the vehicle is no longer present,” she said. “Additionally, we are working improve the ability of the signal to detect motorcycles and bicycles. New equipment has been ordered and we will begin testing soon to enhance motorcycle and bicycle detection at the intersection.”

By Akeya Dickson  |  01:21 PM ET, 08/11/2011

Categories:  Virginia, Fixed

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