Traffic along Meridian Street in Puyallup may get a little less gnarly soon, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Puyallup Tribe of Indians.
City officials plan to use the money to connect 25 traffic lights to a computer control system, allowing a signal technician to operate them remotely.
That means that when a signal goes out, a city technician can fix it immediately from the office instead of having to go on site.
The system also allows a technician to reroute traffic lights remotely if there’s an accident or special event, directing drivers to take a different route.
City officials say the remote control ability will come in handy during events like the 17-day Puyallup Fair in September and the Daffodil Parade in April.
Plus, when a light gets stuck on red on Meridian, it can be fixed quickly to avoid traffic backups on the busy commute route, said City of Puyallup spokeswoman Glenda Carino.
"It helps the people inside the city and people traveling through the city," Carino said.
The $50,000 will also allow the city to install traffic cameras at four intersections, allowing technicians to monitor traffic flows.
Those video feeds will eventually be available to the public on the city’s Web site, Carino said.
They will monitor intersections at N. Meridian and River Road, 11th Street NW and River Road, 15th Ave. SE and S. Meridian Street, and 39th Avenue and 9th Street SW.