Q&A on the News

Q: I use the Stone Mountain Expressway (U.S. 78) every day, and I have noticed that the overhead signs display an “average speed.” How is this measured? What is the value of displaying it? The numbers often seem unlikely – the speed limit is 65 and I have seen the average as low as 32 and as high as 75.

—Cuyler Brooks, Lilburn

A: The average speed displayed on the overhead changeable message signs (CMS) is used as a means of informing motorists what they can expect along the roadways, Jill Goldberg, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation, told Q&A on the News. "The speeds are monitored through a variety of methods including the use of video detection devices and radar, which utilize computer models to determine the actual average speed of vehicles on that section of the road," she wrote in an e-mail. But a complete software upgrade in the system used at the Department's Transportation Management Center has resulted in some issues with data being translated accurately, resulting in incorrect average speeds being displayed. Goldberg wrote that the software issues are being addressed to ensure the most accurate information is reported.

Q: Can you tell me in what part of England the popular PBS series “Keeping Up Appearances” was filmed?

—Bill Drew, Decatur

A: Filming locations included Coventry, Warwickshire and Northampton, in central England, according to IMDb.com.

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).