New Azalea City Driving Technology

By Ben Wolf
Thursday, April 5, 2007

Valdosta city engineer Von Shipman shows off some cutting edge traffic equipment worth $2 million. He says it's the first of its kind in the Peach State.

"We're able to now for people to see what's going on here in Valdosta so they can make intelligent decisions about what paths they can choose."

Talk about a personalized traffic report. You can log onto the Internet from your home computer and actually shift one of these 28 cameras throughout the city to see every angle of an intersection.

The equipment was originally installed so the traffic center could coordinate lights and change timing patterns for special events. The latest addition was a fifteen thousand dollar fiber optic project that allows people at home to control the cameras on a first come, first serve basis.

"When I do go out I would like to be able to go where I'm going without a lot of congestion and be able to know I can do that by going online," said Willie Little.

The program received 750 hits on the website and hasn't existed a full 24 hours. Still, there are those that feel Valdosta doesn't have enough traffic to warrant such equipment.

"I'm not worried about logging on the Internet, pulling up the traffic. I just work 15 minutes away, so it's not that big of a deal," said Laina Barney.

Shipman says he wants to be proactive and anticipate problems rather than react to them in the future.