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When Traffic Lights Make Us Stop and Think

For the past 15 years, writer Brian Hayes has made a hobby out of studying -- and photographing -- the manmade. He is the author of Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape.

Inspired by his daughter's questions, he set out to learn more about the workings of power lines, fire hydrants and other mysteries of the industrial age.

His subject on a recent field trip to the traffic command center in the nation's capital: How do stoplights work?

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Christopher Joyce is a correspondent on the science desk at NPR. His stories can be heard on all of NPR's news programs, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.