Camie Ferrier’s job just got a little easier. As a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer, Camie is responsible for all of OMNNI’s traffic projects, which includes the entire spectrum of traffic engineering from neighborhood traffic issues to data collection and crash analysis for single intersections to traffic modeling, capacity analysis, and optimization of signal timing for complex traffic signal corridors.
For each of these projects, gathering accurate traffic information to analyze traffic patterns and recommend design improvements is critical. But gathering this information can be a very time-consuming task where a person, or two people, need to be physically on-site counting cars as they drive through an intersection and record them into a traffic counting device. But with new advancements in technology, this process has become easier, safer, more accurate and much more cost-effective.
OMNNI recently purchased a Miovision Scout data collection system that records and stores traffic movements. The system is set up easily, getting you off the road quickly and safely. The device stands upright and is secured to a light or sign post or can stand alone with the help of a tripod. It has a vertical telescoping arm with a camera attached to the top to give an elevated view of the area being studied. The camera can be rotated and set at different angles to capture specific traffic movements within a study area.
Camie sets up the Miovision traffic data collection system.
The camera is attached to a recording device that captures video of traffic during a specified time frame. It can record video for up to 72 hours or you can program it to record only when you need it, such as during peak traffic hours.
After the recorded data is collected, it is analyzed by traffic staff off-site or it can be sent out to be processed. This data can also be saved and referenced later if new traffic issues arise.
“One area where this data collection system is especially helpful is when I’m analyzing the turning movements in a roundabout,” explains Camie. “In a typical intersection, traffic can easily be counted by one person, but in a roundabout, especially large multi-lane roundabouts with vehicles entering and exiting simultaneously, it becomes much more difficult. More people are required to be on-site to accomplish this task.”
“With this new system, I can place two of the new data collection devices across from each other and record traffic passing through all legs of the roundabout for me to analyze later, which is more cost-effective for our clients than having one or more staff sit for hours and record turning movements,” notes Camie.
In addition to vehicle traffic counts and patterns, this system can provide valuable data on pedestrian and bicycle traffic and answer questions such as, “Are vehicles providing right-of-way to pedestrians?” “Is there sufficient bicycle traffic to warrant a bike lane?” “Are bicyclists riding through the roundabout properly?” Obtaining the answers to these questions will allow a community to make changes that will provide safe roads for all users.
For Camie, this new tool not only saves her time, it allows her to cost effectively provide her clients with more precise traffic information so they can make informed decisions for the benefit of their communities.
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