By SUSAN LEATHERS

Brentwood Home Page

If you’ve noticed heavier than normal traffic in and around Maryland Farms the last few weeks, it’s not your imagination. But last week reader Jackie Cavner couldn’t help herself. She contacted Brentwood Home Page and asked, “What’s Up with That?”

We, of course, wanted to find out too.

By SUSAN LEATHERS

Brentwood Home Page

If you’ve noticed heavier than normal traffic in and around Maryland Farms the last few weeks, it’s not your imagination. But last week reader Jackie Cavner couldn’t help herself. She contacted Brentwood Home Page and asked, “What’s Up with That?”

“Can you find out why traffic has been so hideous at 5 p.m. on Maryland Way this week?  On Monday, it took me 46 minutes to get from Powell Court to the YMCA.  It’s still bad at 6 p.m., too.  What gives?” she wrote.

We, of course, wanted to find out too, so we went to Asst. City Manager Kirk Bednar for the answer. On Monday, the city released the following on its website:

“For the past few weeks, Brentwood drivers may have noticed some heavier than normal traffic patterns during the peak morning and evening rush hour periods. While there are a number of factors that can affect traffic volumes and patterns, some of the recent change in traffic patterns is a short-term result of a system-wide upgrade of the City’s traffic signal computer system.

“This upgrade project includes installation of new computerized signal controllers at each of the City’s 46 signalized intersections. When fully operational, the new controllers and the centralized signal management software system at the City’s Traffic Operations Center will allow City staff to have more real time data about signal status and enhanced ability to remotely monitor and control signal operation.

“Unfortunately, the switch over to the new system takes about four weeks to allow city staff to remove the old controllers and install the new controllers at each intersection. During this process, there is a period of time when centralized control of the signals is offline. As a result, the internal clocks in each controller can get out of sync and the signals then appear to be mistimed. This has created greater than normal traffic backups in the Maryland Farms and Concord Road corridors in the past few weeks.

“City staff is finishing installation of the new controllers and expects that the new centralized signal management system will be up and running by early next week. Once the new system is operational, staff will continue to monitor traffic patterns and adjust signal timing as needed to improve traffic flow.”

So there you have it, Jackie and everyone else who’s been wondering “What’s Up with That?”

And until the work is done, remember: Patience is a wonderful thing.

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