Crunching the Numbers on L.A. Traffic

At the Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control center (ATSAC) near City Hall in Los Angeles, a team of engineers watches traffic flow all over the city, sucking in tons of data to improve transit and automotive circulation.

Ryan Bradley of GOOD pays a visit to ATSAC, which he says resembles the command centers one sees in movies and TV.

He writes, "ATSAC was created for two reasons. First, to adjust traffic signals in real time to respond to events that may cause congestion, like a car accident or a Lakers championship. Before ATSAC, the Department of Transportation had to send someone out into the field to adjust traffic signals. Now, these adjustments can be made throughout the city from this underground bunker next to City Hall, by those men watching those 16 screens, as thousands of cameras trained on thousands of intersections record the goings-on on the streets above."

The second goal of ATSAC, as Bradley points out, is to collect reams of data that can then be used to understand how traffic flows and where it can be improved.

Here's the the official page of ATSAC.

Full Story: Mark it good Walking in L.A.: The Data Driven City

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from five cities with red or blue trim.
$55.00