Baltimore's 23-year-old stoplight system is getting a $21 million upgrade that will gradually improve traffic flow, city Transportation Department officials announced this week.
More than 900 of the city's 1,210 stoplights are operated by a computer system that was installed in 1976 and has lasted 10 years longer than it was supposed to, according to city traffic engineers.
Another 288 stoplights are essentially lone soldiers, run by control boxes that can't communicate with the computer system, said Richard Baker, a Transportation Department engineering supervisor. If engineers want to change those lights' timing to help cope with traffic tie-ups, work crews must adjust the signals one by one.
The city will pay 20 percent of the cost of the upgrade, or $4.2 million, Baker said.
The federal government will pay the rest.