Suburban traffic congestion continues to increase, and it seems that the traffic controllers are in for some of the blame.

Take, for example, the exit ramp from I-270 north to Democracy Boulevard east. A traffic light has been installed there. Before, there was a one-lane exit that merged with the four lanes of Democracy. You could make the traffic lights and drive to Old Georgetown Road with a minimum of time and inconvenience. In 24 years, I never saw a backup there.

Now there is a three-minute traffic light, which causes a backup on the I-270 ramp and which must have cost $100,000. Last time I was there no cars drove through the newly created green light, and we sat waiting for nothing. Furthermore, once you get onto Democracy, you are doomed to miss the next light and another three-minute waste.

If the Maryland traffic controllers are experiencing congestion at some time of the day at this intersection, it would be a simple thing to put the light on flashing yellow. Or are they afraid that this would create the impression that they wasted your money and your time by putting it there in the first place?

Now, six minutes is not a lot of time, but it is one-half the time it took me to write this letter.

TONY HOPE

Washington