By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– When there’s something unexpected, current traffic lights in much of Maryland use old technology that can’t react right away, but new smart lights are coming to 14 major roadways that use sensors to turn lights from red to green and keep traffic moving, starting along Ritchie Highway.

Smart lights will be operational by the end of next year along Route 2 from Brooklyn Park through Crofton and Annapolis, in Bel Air and Aberdeen in Harford County, in Howard County along Route 1 in Elkridge and in Catonsville and Towson in Baltimore County.

“These lights are literally the slowest lights I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” said one Ritchie Highway commuter.

“This morning, I had about a 23-minute commute, it took me 55 minutes to get there,” commuter Jeff Leo said.

“A smart light would be great because sometimes you can tell the lights just don’t cycle correctly,” Ciara McElveen said.

“They can save up to 20 percent of their drive-time by just managing their movement more efficiently,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “I wouldn’t say it’s a test because we’re putting $50 million and it’s going to impact 700,000 people every day, but I’ve asked them to find other corridors where it could work so once we get these implemented, there’s going to be a next phase I hope.”

In recent weeks, Gov. Hogan also announced a major expansion of the BW Parkway, while facing critics who want more mass transit projects.

Gov. Hogan is allowing construction of the first segment of a hyperloop, which could take people underground from New York to D.C. in a little more than half an hour.

“It’s almost hard to believe but Elon Musk, the guy who they didn’t believe could put spaceships–launch them into outer space–and has now done 18 this year, is the guy behind it, and he’s putting his money into it. it’s a private-sector initiative,” Gov. Hogan said.

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