North America’s Most Congested Cities

With population growth on the rise, many urban areas are growing faster than their city’s infrastructure and transportation networks. Last year the world’s population exceeded seven billion people and many large cities are already encountering overcrowding on public transit, increased pollution levels, and longer traffic delays.

The GPS manufacturer, Tom Tom, published its latest Congestion Index, which measures congestion as a percentage difference when compared to free-flow traffic.  This percentage indicates how much longer it will take to travel through the city with the normal amount of traffic than if there were no vehicles or congestion on the road.

North American congestion is rated at 20%. This week, we’ll review the top 5 congested cities in North America.

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Top 3 Traffic Data Projects to Start Off Your Spring Count Season

With the days being longer and the first day of spring having arrived yesterday, traffic engineers are ramping up to begin the spring count season.  The spring is a great time to plan your traffic data collection and project objectives for the remainder of the year. Planning ahead will help provide efficiencies in traffic data collection equipment deployment, traffic study turnaround time and resource availability.

In this week’s blog, Miovision reviews the Top 3 Traffic Data Projects to Start Off Your Spring Count Season. These top three traffic data collection projects will provide resource efficiencies– the equipment can be used across these three projects. The traffic data collected is also relatable and can be used for various other projects.

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Pedestrian Safety on the Roads

With consistent population growth, many urban cities are expanding their transportation networks which not only includes vehicles but also pedestrians as well. Vehicles need to accommodate the pedestrians especially in areas that are multi-modal with public transit, bike routes, sidewalks and neighbourhoods with heavy foot traffic.

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The Importance of Signal Optimization and Signal Retiming

The US has about 300,000 traffic signals and Canada has about 50,000. Many of the signals could improve their operations simply by adjusting the timing and/or updating equipment. Signal optimization is one of the most cost effective measures that can significantly reduce congestion and help with traffic flow on arterial roads.

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The State of America’s Transportation Network

The American transportation network is in dire need of highway maintenance and reconstruction. Valued at $1.75 trillion, it has endured years of wear and tear, increased traffic, inconsistent maintenance and varying weather conditions. All of these variables, along with higher construction costs and reduced government funding have contributed to only half of the nation’s roads being in good condition.

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Miovision and the Transportation Industry in 2012

Last week, we discussed the top transportation topics for the coming year. I followed up with the CEO of Miovision, Kurtis McBride, to get his take on the industry and Miovision’s outlook for 2012.

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Roundabout Safety Improvements

Roundabouts are becoming more common in urban areas and with good reason. They are known to improve traffic flow and safety in comparison to other forms of intersection control such as traffic signals. However, problems can arise from using roundabouts since traffic signals and signs have been the standard for so long. Understanding how to best optimize roundabouts and prevent accidents will ensure that traffic flow is being optimized.

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Traffic Impact Analysis for Growing Cities

I’m not sure what it’s like in your city, but from the Miovision offices, Kitchener-Waterloo (KW) and surrounding areas are aggressively expanding. With each new subdivision built, there are new plazas, office buildings, and parkades popping up. In certain areas of the city, the landscape (or what used to be landscape) has completely transformed.

One area in particular has completely changed – the Ira Needles area. This previously empty area was just an open field next to Trussler and Erbsville Road. In 2009, it was transformed into the largest commercial centre in the KW area that spans across 88.5 acres. To accommodate the anticipated influx of traffic, additional roads were built as well as 6 roundabouts were utilized rather than lights to facilitate traffic flow.

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Top 5 Difficult Conditions for Manual Counting

Manual traffic counting is time consuming. It can take even longer and reduce accuracy in certain weather conditions. Whenever there is poor weather, there is a higher chance for lower quality data as the onsite counter just wants to get the study done and go back to the office.

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Sharing the Road with Cyclists

Over the past few years, there has been more pressure from cyclists demanding that drivers share the road. Community groups are getting the attention of public agencies to include cyclist-focused initiatives in urban areas. These initiatives can be difficult to execute based on limited expansion space for roads, cyclist vs. driver demands, increased cars on the road and fixed budgets.

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