Inside Irvine’s cutting-edge traffic center
BY TOM BERG
When there’s a flat tire on the 55 Freeway, engineers in Irvine’s Traffic Control Center jump into action. They pull up live video feeds of detouring traffic, and quickly adjust signals along Irvine arterials to keep cars moving.
“We’re using technology to maximize movement on our roads,” Transportation Director Mark Linsenmayer says, pointing to a wall of video screens that monitor 240 city intersections, 24 hours a day. The city’s Traffic Center features 12 screens and six work stations staffed by teams of engineers who can call up more than 800 views of city intersections.
“Each engineer can view their own corridor or intersection and work on that – separate from everybody else,” Linsenmayer says.
It is from this nerve center that Linsenmayer’s team controls all signaling, synchronization, coordination, timing, and project management on city streets. “A vibrant economy means more people coming here to work and play,” Linsenmayer says. “My job is to facilitate that – to explore new technologies to help cars move from one end of the city to the other.”
More high-tech traffic improvements:
- Synchronization of 200 traffic signals
- “Smart” lights that adapt to traffic patterns in real time
- Infrared sensors and high definition cameras to trigger signal changes