Making NYC Traffic Better
February 21, 2013

NYC TrafficEvery day, 70,000 vehicles travel in and out of NYC’s Manhattan. Add pedestrians and bicyclists to all these regular cars, delivery trucks, and emergency vehicles, and you get quite a mess of NYC traffic.

So the NYC Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) got together with Transcore and a few other companies to create an Active Traffic Management System to improve NYC traffic. Now dubbed ‘Midtown in Motion’, this is a broad network of 100 microwave sensors, 32 traffic video cameras and E-ZPass readers initially installed at 23 intersections in NYC midtown. These devices measure traffic speeds covering a 110-block area from 2nd – 6th Aves & 42nd – 57th Sts in an effort to get NYC traffic moving faster by adjusting Midtown traffic signal patterns, unplugging bottlenecks and smoothing the flow of traffic.

Phase I resulted in an overall 10% improvement in travel times on all the Aves (based on E-ZPass readers and taxi GPS data).

Phase II expanded the ‘Midtown in Motion’ area to Midtown from 1st – 9th Aves and 42nd – 57th Sts. These 270 blocks will include an additional 110 microwave sensors, 24 traffic video cameras, and 36 E-ZPass readers. It was to be fully operational by September 2012.

The E-ZPass readers help estimate travel time, while vehicle sensors give information about NYC traffic flow and lane occupancy. This data is analysed in Manhattan’s Traffic Management Center, and will be used to control traffic signals at 12,000 intersections in Manhattan alone.

We previously wrote about Midtown in Manhattan when it launched in July 2011. Check out the video about this very cool program with Transportation TV.


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