What's with the flashing street lights in Montreal's west end? It's only temporary, city says
Residents frustrated by on-again, off-again lights
Montreal has been busy installing "smart" LED street lights across the city, but a bug in the system has been bugging some west-end residents — sparking humour in some and annoyance in others.
Dozens of street lights on several streets have been flashing late into the night.
A Facebook group where NDG residents share community news, ask for recommendations and post the occasional complaint about urban life has been alive with discussions about a possible alien invasion.
Or a brownout. Or a power surge. Or a street disco. Or a replacement for tow truck horns during snow-removal operations.
The theories as to what's causing the flickering have lit up social media.
I read the City uses this to alert ppl before a snow removal operation, so they can move their car I guess. But what happened last night might have been a design flaw or glitch (something to do with the power failure?). — Alien signal is my favourite explanation though.—@Moqcca
Some find the LED lights to be annoyingly bright, and the flashing is just adding fuel to fire. Others just see it as yet another Facebook group gripe to joke about.
And some of those jokes have morphed into online rumours.
But the fact is, it's nothing more than the city working the kinks out of its new "smart" system, and the lights will stop flashing soon, according to city spokesperson Marilyne Laroche Corbeil.
As Montreal crews install the new lights, some technical issues may arise as the city is testing the new system for remote management, she said.
"An electronic component's defect in certain lights was found in the NDG area," said Laroche Corbeil in an email.
"The problem should be resolved via the intelligent system in early February."
With files from Kristy Rich