Winter Freeze Blacks Out Some Chicago Stoplights, Traffic Signs

The city and suburbs share an issue courtesy of the blizzard conditions recently endured: traffic lights, crosswalk countdowns, just about anything facing north is still covered by Sunday night's freeze.

You can’t make heads or tails of a huge electronic message presumably trying to tell drivers something important in the middle of Western Avenue near Irving Park Road. It’s indecipherable.

Southbound on Ashland Avenue it’s impossible to see where you are because street signs or frozen over.

More importantly, depending on the time of day, the stoplight overhead at multiple intersections--like Foster and Ashland avenues--look completely blank. One NBC 5 employee saw three cars blast through red lights--apparently without a clue.

Suburbs like Oak Brook are having the same issue.

Police Chief Jim Kruger says it’s ironically the result of energy efficiency.

"The LED bulbs now are not hot enough to melt the snow and ice like the old incandescents and we had to call to get a few cleaned off," he said.

In Morton Grove it’s more old fashioned. Power’s out at Dempster and Central. Lines of traffic in every direction. Com Ed on the scene.

Chicago and the two suburbs NBC 5 visited don’t have any breakdown of any accidents caused by this anomaly.

Suffice it to say: driver and walker beware.

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