By Mary Velan
As the year winds down it is good to take a look back and reflect on what was important and significant in 2015. According to our data, three traffic stories stood out from the rest, outlining the different topics in transportation that were most interesting in the last 12 months. Here is a brief roundup in case you missed any of the details.
Jump in Crashes After Camera Removal
The Houston Police recently a drastic increase in both traffic collisions and crashes at intersections where red-light safety cameras had been removed. The report adds to a long list of statistics indicating intersections become more hazardous when red-light safety cameras are taken away. Read full coverage here.
The interest in the traffic camera study was widespread across the country. Many communities had implemented traffic cameras to increase safety and efficiency through automated citation triggers. After selecting specific areas in a municipality where traffic and pedestrian safety was lacking, governments were deploying the traffic cameras to monitor behaviors and track drivers who disobey laws.
While many communities understand the intended value of traffic cameras, there was a debate as to how effective they actually were at increasing roadway safety. Some argued the cameras were there simply to increase city revenue, while others defended them as key community development drivers. The Houston study provided statistical evidence that the cameras were making an impact in the community.
Top 4 Parking Innovations for 2015
From mobile apps to license plate scanning, parking technology is becoming more convenient for both municipalities and individual drivers. Communities should advantage of these new innovations to cut costs and increase overall efficiency. Read full coverage here.
Cities across the country were experimenting with different parking technologies and strategies to increase efficiency for both local governments and residents. These innovations ranged from new ways to pay for parking via mobile technology, find parking spots using smart devices and charging people using cars as a means to reduce pollution. Take a look at the parking trends for 2015 and see how they will compare with even more innovations in 2016.
Talking Lights Can Cut Commutes By 40 Percent
A startup launched out of Carnegie Mellon University is testing new technology expected to nearly cut traffic times in half. The virtual traffic lights are designed to gather real-time information to guide drivers on a more efficient route to their destination. Read full coverage here.
Using vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications technology, cars can announce their location, direction speed and other metrics and then intersections could be dynamically managed. In theory, each car would receive customized instructions on how to proceed at a given intersection based on the traffic patterns nearby, rather than wait for actual lights to change on a programmed schedule.
This will allow for traffic flow to be efficiently managed in real-time based on volume levels at each location. Beyond reducing travel times for commuters, the system could increase safety for drivers and pedestrians while reducing overall emissions – all important goals for 2015 and into 2016.