Hillsborough County builds smarter roads

ITS_sign_highwayEmploying the latest Intelligent Transportation System technology, Hillsborough County is making traffic flow more smoothly and safely on some of our busiest roadways. Traffic engineer Michael Flick recently briefed the MPO’s Citizens Advisory Committee on the County’s Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS). The system uses traffic signals, cameras and sensors to feed information to the Hillsborough County Traffic Management Center. There, computers and technicians monitor traffic flows and detect problems on county roads. If problems arise, the ATMS can change traffic signal timing and use variable message signs to route traffic around accidents and congestion.

The County has funded and completed ATMS projects on 20 out of 60 corridors throughout Hillsborough County, including SR 60, Kings Ave, Bloomingdale Ave, Waters Ave, Sheldon Rd, Ehrlich Rd, Linebaugh Ave, Busch Blvd, and Bruce B Downs Blvd. State funding prioritized by the MPO enabled ATMS improvements on other roads such as Gunn Hwy and Dale Mabry Hwy. All together, the 60 corridors accommodate 8.8 million vehicle miles of travel (VMT) in an average day. The top 20 corridors improved so far handle 53 percent of this VMT, and include 243 out of almost 500 signalized intersections.

Studies show that ATMS provides a tremendous “bang for the buck” in terms of faster travel times as well as fewer crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Mr. Flick reported that the County has committed $14 million to ATMS improvements on the top corridors. Already, ATMS save an estimated 17,500 hours of travel time each week. Crashes have gone down by as much as 76 percent and injuries by as much as 24 percent on corridors where ATMS has been implemented. ATMS also makes traffic flow more efficiently. As a result, roads can accommodate more traffic within the same number of lanes, thereby avoiding or postponing the need for road widenings.

For more information, contact Michael B. Flick at flickm@hillsboroughcounty.org.

Photo courtesy of roadtraffic-technology.com.