In our last blog post we discussed how increasing demands on municipalities in the midst of shrinking budgets and overstretched departments make traffic management difficult. The good news is adopting a data-centered approach can help you do more with less.
Let’s take a look at five more reasons adding data and analytics to your traffic management program is a great idea.
Reason #4 Request Speed Limit Change
Let’s suppose that despite all your efforts to slow speeders on a road, your reports show no discernable decrease in average speed or in the number of speeders, pointing to the need to ask the DOT to perform a traffic study.
Does filing this request mean more paperwork for you? Probably not, if you’re using a cloud-based system in which traffic data is automatically uploaded in real time and available for generating custom reports. If the DOT requests additional speed data, you’ll be able to furnish it quickly and with greater accuracy than if you had to manually collect the data and perform ongoing file management to produce reports; your centralized data repository will provide the reports you need with just a few clicks.
Reason #5 Resource Prioritization
Between budget cuts and hiring freezes, careful utilization of your resources is extremely important. With access to traffic statistics, such as peak speed violation times and locations ranked in order of quantity and severity of violation, law enforcement can effectively allocate officers to areas where speed enforcement is critical, and public works departments can better plan and execute traffic management strategies. As mentioned in our previous post, some traffic management reporting systems can compile this data for you using parameters you provide, such as time of day, day of the week or by a specific list of locations.
When you can quickly retrieve a timely report that ranks enforcement priorities for you, it takes the guesswork out of allocating personnel where they will be most effective, which maximizes resources and budgets.
Reason #6 Proof of Success
There are many instances where your agency is called upon to prove the success of your traffic calming and traffic safety measures. Some are related to finance. Other times the reasons are more focused on community relations.
Police departments are frequently called upon to speak at community “town hall” or HOA meetings on issues related to traffic calming or safety. Other times, city agencies need to address resident complaints of speeding on a particular street or neighborhood. When you have access to traffic analytics, you can run reports and pull statistics before meetings to share program results. Many All Traffic Solutions customers tell us they share TraffiCloud reports regularly on their websites or email reports directly from TraffiCloud to HOAs. The HOAs post the information on their websites or publish it in monthly community newsletters.
There’s no better way to provide positive, immediate proof of the improvements you have made than with timely, well-organized reports that use colorful graphs and charts to draw attention to the data.
Reason #7 Long-term Planning
Traffic data can help identify what your agency will require in the future in terms of traffic safety and enforcement. Analyzing traffic data allows law enforcement to identify the locations and severity of safety issues in the community to see which are trending upward and will require more long-term solutions, such as adding more traffic lanes or signals. For municipalities the data is enormously helpful in planning and budgeting for road improvements and construction.
Reason #8 Holistic View of the Future
More and more municipalities are sharing data between agencies so that everyone can benefit from a larger, integrated database that paints a more holistic picture of the future.
For example, when law enforcement shares data on traffic volume by hour with the public works department, the latter can use that intelligence to plan the best times to assign road crews on a neighborhood street. Law enforcement may want to use count and classification data gathered by the public works department to identify where trucks or motorcycles are speeding through neighborhoods and other reasons why additional traffic enforcement may become necessary.
The city’s traffic engineers will find vehicle count data useful in determining how long to make turning lanes or identifying stretches of road where they may need to reroute trucks away from heavy local traffic. Urban planners can use traffic data intelligence to plan new business and shopping districts, parking facilities and residential developments.
When public agencies share their data, everyone benefits from the combined pool of intelligence it creates.
If you’re ready to simplify and streamline the collection, management and distribution of traffic data in your agency or department, we’re here to help. Contact All Traffic Solutions today.