The city of Tallahassee, Fla., and surrounding Alachua County are nearing completion on a new traffic management system that allows remote monitoring of traffic patterns and control of traffic signals.
The project began in 2004 as part of an agreement between officials at the city, county and state levels, as well as at the University of Florida. All 200 traffic signals within the system are controlled and monitored from the City of Gainesville Public Works Department; fiber optics allows the city to electronically synchronize everything.
From the control room, operators can achieve a number of functions, including:
- Clearing out a busy intersection for emergency vehicles
- Working around lane blockages due to accidents
- Facilitating real-time tracking of traffic conditions online for motorists
- Posting of bus arrival times electronically at select bus stations
Initial data findings show travel times have already been reduced significantly, even during peak hours. Across the network, delay times have gone down as much as 56 percent. Efficiency has been improved even more during off-peak hours. Officials also note side effects such as reductions in fuel costs and air pollution.