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Traffic light malfunctions, state roads

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois American Government

Traffic light malfunctions, state roads

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
November 20, 2009

It used to be that IDOT would accept requests for traffic light maintenance on state-maintained roads from citizens. Now? Now you must call your local law enforcement agency and hope they will send an officer out to watch the light and confirm the malfunction, and that he will then report it and request repair.

What a waste, just because somebody at IDOT decided he can't trust citizens to report problems!

So, when you notice a malfunction like the traffic light on IL 47 (Seminary) at Russel Court that shows a very long red for Seminary Avenue traffic when there is NO traffic on Russel Court (e.g., Thursday, 6:19PM), then notify the Woodstock Police Department.

Their procedure is to dispatch an officer to observe the malfunction. Then he will either report it to his supervisor (probably) or report it directly (hopefully) to IDOT's Central Communications hotline.

Or maybe he won't consider it a malfunction and won't report it at all. It's probably a "smart" light there, meaning that traffic on Russel Court is supposed to trigger the light to change and give Russel Court traffic a chance to turn left. These "smart" lights have a built-in activator, though, in case the roadway sensor is not working; that activator will cause the light to change, whether or not a car is waiting at a red light.

Would a "smarter" light be a flashing yellow on Seminary and a flashing red on Russel Court, when the government center is closed?

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