Improving Traffic With Technology

The city council agrees with the addition of technology, and has approved $.5-million project to install a new traffic control system.

Like many cities across the fast-growing southeast, traffic volumes continue to grow in Valdosta adding more minutes to everyone's drive.

Long-time residents say they have seen the delays grow before them.

"It gets bad right there, it backed up, it gets backed up at least two blocks depending on the time of day,” resident Nigel Whitten comments.

That's why city engineers have been looking at modern traffic control systems to help ease the problem. They've chosen a system that's already in use in Tallahassee.

As engineer von shipman explained to me, the system will be made up of sensors and cameras that send information back to a central office, where adjustments can be made in real time to improve traffic flow.

"And we can implement time of day programs to help move traffic, when its heavy in the morning inbound, and maybe heavy in the afternoon when its outbound,” Shipman explains.

Shipman says using technology can help solve a problem at a lower cost.

"Mainly, its to help move traffic more efficiently so that we don't have to widen the roads as often, as it would otherwise be required. Studies have shown that these types of systems do, in fact, improve travel time by as much as 20 to 25-percent,” Shipman adds.

Time that really makes a difference as the city continues to grow in size and population.

The first phase of the Valdosta traffic management system will monitor 30 intersections, but shipman says the system will be easily expandable.