At about 3:20am today, I noticed some rather unusual behaviour in the traffic lights on Cotter Road between the Tuggeranong Parkway and Adelaide Avenue.
At first what I noticed was that one set of lights on the overpass over the Tuggeranong Parkway was flashing amber while the other set of lights was behaving normally. This is a little odd as the two sets of lights are linked so as to improve traffic flow in the area, but it’s not uncommon for a single set of lights to act-up and for a linked set of lights to carry on using only its own sensors, so I didn’t think much of it until I got to the next set of lights at the Cotter Road/McCulloch St intersection as these lights were also flashing amber. This set of lights are not linked to the ones near the Tuggeranong Parkway and it seemed very odd to have two unconnected sets of traffic lights in such a small area acting-up without any odd weather or some deliberate police activity (of which there was none).
It got stranger just a few metres away at the Cotter Road/Lady Denman Drive intersection where the traffic lights were behaving normally. These lights are linked to the McCulloch St lights and it is definitely peculiar to have two pairs of linked lights where one of each pair is misbehaving in such close proximity. It became bizarre enough for me to call Canberra Connect (the ACT Government’s call centre) to report the issue when, a bit further down the road, a completely independent set of lights at the Cotter Road/Dudley Street intersection was also flashing amber.
Green dots indicate working traffic lights. Yellow dots indicate lights which were flashing amber.
When I rang Canberra Connect I was asked if I would like to hear back from someone about my report and I am starting to wish I had said “yes”. Even though I doubt I would really hear back about this issue, and even if I did it would probably just be from someone telling me that the problem was fixed within a certain time-frame, I would be interested to know what caused this problem. It seems to me as if someone may have been a bit naughty and fiddled with a few control boxes, but it could also have been caused by a technical problem of some sort, and I’d be fascinated to know what sort of technical fault could affect some lights and not other in that manner.
I suppose it’s just one of those interesting mysteries of late-night driving in Canberra.