One of the best ways to enhance safety, reduce congestion and improve the commute for unincorporated area motorists is to optimize traffic signal timing for signalized intersections on major transportation corridors. To achieve this, the Sacramento County Department of Transportation has invested in the use of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology as a high-tech solution to maintain and continuously improve traffic flow in congested corridors and on major roadways.
The heart of Sacramento County’s traffic management system is the Traffic Operations Center (TOC), which opened in 2001 and is located at the County’s Bradshaw Road complex. This state-of-the-art facility enables staff to monitor traffic conditions and make adjustments as needed to keep traffic flowing safely and smoothly, especially during heavy commute hours. TOC staff is able to monitor 16 major unincorporated area transportation corridors and 300 signalized intersections, 116 of which are equipped with cameras communicating on both fiber optic and copper interconnect cable.
The TOC’s control room is filled with screens showing live camera feeds and telemetry from traffic signals throughout the unincorporated area. From the control room staff can monitor multiple signal locations and adjust signal timing as needed to improve the flow of traffic. In addition, staff can respond to collisions, hazardous spills and other emergencies by changing signal timing and posting messages on any of four changeable message signs located on the corridors.
“We are working to increase our camera feeds so we can expand our TOC system to monitor additional corridors and intersections,” said Michael Penrose, Director for the Department of Transportation. “It’s important that we monitor heavily congested roadways and keep traffic running smoothly so that we can make the daily commute as safe and easy as possible and quickly respond to emergency situations.”