IDOT: Backup Batteries, Generators To Power Traffic Lights In Outages
Meeting of village officials focuses on communication to assist each other.
Communication also took the forefront in Thursday's meeting of more than 40 mayors and managers from a dozen north suburban communities when power outages impact traffic lights.
State Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest) sought to build consensus on how the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) could help the communities at the meeting held in Lake Forest.
Steve Travia, IDOT's bureau chief for traffic in the Chicago area, told the group of the improvements his department is making to install more equipment with backup batteries and the ability to run on generators.
“About 20 percent of the traffic lights in our six county area (including Cook and Lake Counties) are equipped now,” Travia said. “We have a two-year plan to upgrade the system.”
He also added there are financial constrictions that will not allow faster completion.
Garrett also wanted to establish better communication lines between communities, IDOT and ComEd during a weather crisis.
“When there is no power, how can we communicate,” Garrett asked, noting telephones need electricity to function. “Can we use text messages? How can we gather cell phone information?”