The City of Philadelphia recently activated their new Traffic Operations Center (TOC), which will serve as a traffic control nerve center, receiving live traffic cameras and roadway monitoring data from around the city. The goal of the TOC is to monitor the traffic in real time so the Streets Department can adjust signals, signs and throughways in case there is a massive influx of vehicles or pedestrians in one area. The Streets Department can then push the information to PennDOT and other agencies, who can adjust electronic messaging signs to notify people to move in different directions.
“Up until this time every other major U.S. city except Philadelphia has had an interactive traffic operations center to handle traffic problems in real time,” stated Jim Ferlino, President of Vistacom. “We have brought that capability to the city and they now have the ability to monitor traffic patterns and respond immediately to issues.”
The TOC includes a 10-monitor Barco video wall to display traffic cameras and signal management software within the center. Tying into Philadelphia’s federated Genetec video management system allows the TOC to send and receive critical information between other agencies and stakeholders. For the Genetec integration, Vistacom worked closely with Tyco Integrated Security and Philadelphia’s IT team.
The engineers in the TOC collect traffic flow data to better time things such as traffic lights. Live video streams from a network of more than 5,000 cameras owned by the city, PennDOT, the Philadelphia Police Department, SEPTA, and other agencies are accessible to help facilitate better decision-making and a more efficient response. Also available are various mapping and GIS data, social media analytics, and other diagnostic information.
“It integrates all of the cameras that the city gets,” said Richard Montanez, Chief Traffic Engineer for Philadelphia. “It allows us to take a look at the traffic conditions out there and adjust traffic timings accordingly.”
This innovative technology opens a new chapter in maintaining a safer Philadelphia and supports the Mayor’s vision for high efficiency and innovative service. “We are extremely happy to be able to take part in this project,” said Ferlino. “The TOC should really improve traffic efficiency and will benefit all users of the city’s transportation network.”