I was up in Fargo, ND visiting family for Christmas (yah shoor ya betcha) and a traffic light was out on a 6-lane intersection. Guess what? Everyone was calmly proceeding as if it was a 4-way stop. No drama, no retardation.
This whole thing is a non-problem. It's just that lazy journalists love it because it's "irony". It's not really ironic unless you're Alanis Morissette, but it makes for an easy, shitty space filler. Notice how in that story the SIGN is also covered in snow? ZOMG! We need heated road signs! Woe is me! Signs can sometimes become obscured by snow, the horror! The HORROR!
You don't get it. The problem here is *one* direction is out or misleading. The drivers coming from any other direction have no idea that there's a problem, thus the issue.
To the systems programmer, users and applications serve only to provide a test load.