The Challenge: Prioritizing Road Improvements Against Congestion
Collier County Traffic Operation aims to provide the best and most efficient road network for its citizens. Located in southwest Florida, Collier County sees high fluctuations in seasonal traffic. It was essential to collect up-to-date data on traffic congestion for the main road segments to prioritize the segments most in need of immediate improvement with a low Level of Service.
To achieve this goal, the Traffic Operation Section measured travel time to determine roadway capacity, congestion areas, congestion time, and the duration of the congestion. Additionally, travel time data could be used to evaluate traffic signal timing to ensure the roads performed well. However, collecting and analyzing travel time data at county scale is labor- and time-intensive.
Before using the SMATS’ iNodeTM, the Collier County traffic officials made multiple drives of the desired segments of road at different times of the day to collect the required travel time data. This data collection method made it impossible to study longer segments across Collier County and to monitor the roads at all hours of the day. Therefore, Collier County Traffic Operation decided that process automation would relieve staff of this time-consuming process and enable the collection of travel time data to be much more efficient.
Collier County Traffic Operation opted for the SMATS Traffic Solutions’ data analytics platform, iNode™, which features integrated crowdsourced traffic data that allows users to easily monitor and analyze travel time in real-time. iNode™ also enabled the County traffic officials to capture travel time and speed data of the specific roads without the burden of installing or maintaining hardware to do so. iNode™ can also capture travel time based on a given time schedule.
The Collier County Traffic Operations Section has been using iNode™ since September 2019. There have been over 220 data collection links (or segments) with iNode™ established in the County, which monitor and analyze travel time data online based on their requirements.
Figure 1 demonstrates all the County links shown on the dashboard page of iNode™. It shows that the level of congestion of all of the links can be monitored from the dashboard whether online or offline. Each color denotes a congestion level from most congested (shown in dark red) to normal (shown in green).
Figure 1. Dashboard view of iNode™. Image Credit: SMATS Traffic Solutions Inc.
iNode™ also offers different travel time and speed charts that are all downloadable in a variety of image formats, allowing comparisons to be made between the data of both single and multiple links. Figures 2 and 3 show one of Collier County’s link travel time and single link data comparison charts, respectively.
Additionally, iNode™ creates reports for both travel time and speed data. Users can then export all of the collected data in CSV format. These features aid in the preparation of traffic reports and making further analyses.
Figure 2. Travel time chart of a sample link. Image Credit: SMATS Traffic Solutions Inc.
Figure 3. Single link data comparison for different days. Image Credit: SMATS Traffic Solutions Inc.
Collier County Traffic Operations
Collier County’s Traffic Operations Section monitors and maintains the County’s roadways to ensure the safety and efficiency of the transportation system for both Collier County citizens and its visitors. Collier County Traffic Operations comprises six sections, including In-House Design Group, Roadway Lighting, Roadway Signing and Marking, Traffic Facilities Locates, Traffic Management Center (TMC), and Traffic Signals. These sections work closely to deliver the best and most efficient roads for the County.
SMATS’ iNode™ platform offers the County’s Traffic Operations Division the data and online analysis tools needed to enable traffic officials to achieve the Traffic Operations’ mission. iNode™ provides the County with actual data to study the efficiency of all of its road segments. As a result, Traffic Operation can determine possible alternative routes to reduce congestion, and make the County’s roads more efficient.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by SMATS Traffic Solutions Inc.
For more information on this source, please visit SMATS Traffic Solutions Inc.