Red light, green light

If you’re like me, when you were a kid you played the game, “Red light, green light.”

It was no game, however, when I visited the STOP (Sewer and Traffic Operations) facility where our traffic lights are made, tested, repaired and managed.

My thanks to Vern Page, a supervisor in Planning and Public Works, for his tour of their spaces.  It was fascinating to see into the guts of our traffic signal control cabinets!

Did you know that our team takes care of about 250 signals throughout the County – and nearly 100 of them are in incorporated cities and towns? I also learned that today’s signal lights last longer, are more reliable, and use much less energy than those from years ago.  Despite what you see in the movies, no one can “hack” into our traffic lights and turn them green to facilitate a get away!

You can go behind the scenes of our traffic light operation in the video below:

Now I think of Vern and his colleagues when I see all the traffic lights as I’m out and about in the County.  I’m especially grateful for how they keep us safe on our roads around the clock! And that includes this Monday when we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

For those who will have a three-day weekend, I hope you will think of Monday as a “day on,” not a day off. It’s a day that has become synonymous with doing volunteer work in service to others.

If you’re still looking for ways that you can give back, check out the list of opportunities during the MLK Month of Service at the United Way of Pierce County website.  The City of Tacoma has a full slate of activities planned (I will be at their 35th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center at 10 a.m.) and the City of Lakewood has posted their Martin Luther King Video Series that highlights six local heroes that exemplify Dr. King’s values of service.

Before I close, I want to congratulate the new leaders of the County Council. This week, Chair Ryan Mello, Vice Chair Marty Campbell, and Executive Pro Tempore Dave Morell were selected by their peers to serve for the year.  I also want to welcome new Councilmember Robyn Denson to the County. I look forward to working with them and the rest of their colleagues for the benefit of the people of Pierce County.

Thanks for reading,