City planners and managers have their hands full overseeing the flow of people, vehicles and goods. It only makes sense that they’d use traffic monitoring systems to keep up with events as they unfold. Because such software provides critical real-time data and long-term insights, it’s become an indispensable asset in effective transit management.
What most people don’t know, however, is that traffic tools play unexpected roles in many other aspects of modern life. Here are just a few of the hidden advantages of a robust traffic monitoring application.
Non-official Data Sharing
Traffic monitoring applications can be used to generate and sanitise information intended for public consumption. Suppose you’re heading a motorway development project. It may be easier to garner public support if you have organised data to back your claims that the undertaking will improve local transit conditions.
Persuading stakeholders isn’t the only use for such information. Many local and regional governments use it to publish annual traffic volume maps, interactive traffic count reports and other tools that increase operational transparency.
Automated and Improved Emergency Response
Traffic monitoring capabilities offer significant advantages in the field of disaster mitigation and control. By providing public safety agencies and emergency dispatchers with live tools and reports, cities can guide responders more effectively.
Some systems can even automate certain response procedures. For instance, after receiving reports of an accident or police activity, an effective control system might adapt traffic light behaviours to influence existing movement patterns and divert nearby motorists.
Identifying Maintenance and Upgrade Needs
Transit elements like roads, rail lines and other resources don’t last forever. Time, weather and usage wear them away and decrease their ability to serve the public.
Modern traffic system users commonly employ volume and weight data to plan upkeep activities. By weighing vehicles as they’re moving, they can get a better feel for how many lorries follow particular routes and flag these paths as likely to need touch-ups or repairs sooner. Similarly, traffic counting tools may make it easier to choose appropriate safety features, signs or asphalt mixtures the next time a road is scheduled for an overhaul.
Integrating traffic flow counters with meteorological monitoring also helps planners determine which roads are in need of a redesign. If drivers consistently avoid a given path whenever it rains, for example, it’s likely a good indicator that planners should reassess safety conditions in the affected region.
Forward-Thinking Urban Planning
Traffic monitoring reveals more than just insights about where people currently travel. It also has the potential to predict the trends of the future.
Different cities and regions are known for unique population variances. An area with a high concentration of heavy industry, for example, may make frequent use of roads around national shipping hubs. There’s no universal rule governing how traffic patterns might manifest in a given place, so monitoring systems that gather specific data are extremely useful.
Planners and zoning specialists who embark on public works projects commonly utilise this information for the greater good. They identify chronically under served boroughs and populations as they prepare to build facilities. They can also ensure that supporting road linkages won’t become overwhelmed by the sudden presence of a new hospital or attractive sporting facility.
Improving the Way We Travel
Of course, not all traffic monitoring systems are equivalent. It’s vital to find solutions that:
- Can scale to match the growth of transit networks,
- Recognise and learn from systemic patterns,
- Can control large numbers of signals, barriers and other assets, and
- Analyse traffic on an intersection and big-picture basis.
The potential benefits of traffic monitoring are many, but they all depend on whether you choose the right tool. To get acquainted with the best options available, contact Advance Access.