Giving Compass’ Take:
• Cailin Crowe, at Smart Cities Dive, details four cities’ recent efforts to implement intelligent intersection software for reduced congestion and lower emissions.
• As we prepare to reopen during quarantine, how can we focus our efforts on smarter traffic regulations and heightened climate awareness? What can you do to support efforts for conservation?
• Read about how cities can effectively improve air quality.
Austin, TX; Fort Smith, AR; Walnut Creek, CA; and Westminster, CO have won the Parsons Smart City Challenge, launched in collaboration with Amazon Web Services in 2019 to “revolutionize” mobility.
Fort Smith, AR won the first place prize, followed by Austin, TX in second place, and Walnut Creek, CA and Westminster, CO as “runners-up.” Each city will be given free, limited trials of Parsons’ new Intelligent Intersection software to address congestion and achieve local transportation goals.
The Intelligent Intersection solution uses data from local signal controller units and sensors to create a dashboard for traffic engineers with visual information, intended to cut congestion and improve decision-making.
Before the new coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), congestion was responsible for costing the U.S. about 6.3 billion hours, 30 million tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and $88 billion of productivity annually, according to the City of Austin’s Department of Transportation. But amid national stay-at-home orders, cities have seen emissions fall as much as 26% and air quality has improved across the country.
As the country looks ahead to reopening, there’s concern that GHG emissions could restore to pre-pandemic levels due to the return of personal vehicle traffic and the activities of daily life. Retiming traffic signals through smart solutions, like that of Parsons, can potentially help to keep some of those emissions down.
Austin, TX, for instance, will leverage the solution to monitor the city’s Cameron Road corridor, using existing sensors to understand traffic data and provide signal timing suggestions. Engineers can use intersection data from Parsons’ software to retime signals up to 20 times more often, which can reduce congestion at intersections up to 40%. Such a reduction can also reduce GHG emissions by roughly 4.9 million tons annually, sparing about $27 billion annually in productivity losses.
Read the full article about intelligent intersection software by Cailin Crowe at Smart Cities Dive.
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