Alfred Benesch & Company is an industry leader in transportation engineering and has completed thousands of projects throughout the United States. Benesch was seeking a technology that would expedite traffic studies, collect pedestrian counts and visually record traffic movements for auditing purposes. Ultimately, Benesch needed to improve data quality, accuracy and reliability while creating cost savings for the company and its clients.
Since 1946, Benesch has been specializing in civil and structural engineering services to clients in transportation and infrastructure development. Benesch designs complex highway interchanges, major river bridges, parking structures and structural systems for high- and low-rise buildings. The Company also conducts transportation inspections, and supervises interstate highway and railroad freight yard construction projects. Benesch has completed numerous transportation corridor studies that involved significant data collection.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Benesch operates 15 locations in nine states (Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin) and employs more than 400 people.
Like many engineering firms, Benesch manages multiple projects of varying scope. Traffic data collection is usually only one portion of a much larger project. Maximizing resources to ensure that data collection is on time is extremely important for meeting the timelines of a traffic engineering project. Being able to collect traffic data in less time with fewer personnel and budget demands also allows the company to recover resource time as a cost savings.
Several of Benesch’s data collection projects have required pedestrian counts. Having an automated solution would reduce the time it currently takes to complete manual data collection. Also, having the ability to collect traffic movements and pedestrian counts via video would provide an auditable record that could be reviewed for unusual traffic activity.
Benesch was looking for a solution that would:
- Collect traffic studies such as turning movement counts and pedestrian counts;
- Aggregate data in a timely manner, requiring fewer staff resources;
- Provide video of traffic movements for auditability;
Austin Yates, P.E., Project Engineer
Benesch has completed a wide range of traffic engineering projects that require traffic data collection including corridor studies, which examine a network of several intersections, or a single intersection for a safety improvement project. Typically this entails a two-hour, morning/evening count and sometimes midday/peak period counts. Also collected are vehicle classification counts to determine the amount of cars and the amount and type of heavy trucks. Occasionally, pedestrian counts are completed, usually in conjunction with Safe Routes to School programs.
Decreased Data Collection Time – 75%
By using Miovision’s Scout Video Collection Unit (VCU), Benesch has reduced typical study turnaround time by 3 hours or 75%. Only one person is required to deploy the Scout and it only takes a few minutes to set up and schedule traffic studies at the desired location. Once the Scout is set up, it is not necessary to have personnel on-site to complete data collection.
Since a traffic study typically requires multiple time periods in one day, an individual could set up several recordings on the Scout for one day, and then return to pick up the unit at the end of the day or even the next. The data is reported in industry-standard formats and is typically received within 72 hours or less. This level of convenience has a significant impact on total lead time as the entire process is automated. With a few minutes of equipment setup, traffic engineers have access to traffic data, reports, and video within a few days without any manual data collection or entry.
Video Collection Capabilities and TDO
Benesch wanted a solution that would provide video of traffic movements and pedestrian counts. Not only does Miovision’s Scout provide the ability to record traffic studies, but it also allows them to review the video on TrafficDataOnline.com (TDO).
TDO is Miovision’s online traffic data management platform, which stores all traffic data, video and reports in one centralized location for improved convenience and data accessibility. Historical data can also be uploaded to the platform, making TDO an efficient tool for managing traffic project files. As a shared portal, TDO allows data and reports to be easily shared with stakeholders. This provides additional insight into the traffic movements at a given location, and the ability to review any traffic anomalies.
Decreased Costs for Traffic Data Collection – 50%
Receiving traffic data in less time has a positive impact on the bottom line. Data that is received in a 75% shorter time period provides a savings of about 50%. Time is saved on the actual traffic data collection, as recouped from the time spent on manually collecting data or manual data entry. These time savings can be applied towards completing more value-add tasks.
As previously mentioned, traffic data collection represents just a fraction of the projects that Benesch completes. If traffic data isn’t completed in a timely manner, it can delay project tasks that are dependent on that data. For Benesch, being behind on a large project can significantly impact budget, costs, and the company’s credibility. Using Miovision’s automated solution eliminates the possibility of these scenarios occurring.
Jim Jussel, P.E., PTOE Project Manager
By using Miovision’s Scout Video Collection Unit for traffic data collection projects, Benesch has gained operational efficiencies and received added value through video and TrafficDataOnline.com. They have saved time and money while maintaining a high level of service and quality of traffic data collection projects.
Overall, Benesch was able to achieve the following improvements using Miovision:
- 75% reduction in overall data collection time
- Video for reviewing and auditability
- 50% reduction in costs associated with traffic data collection
- Automating a process to ensure resources are used efficiently and effectively