How Traffic Data At Your Fingertips Can Create Smarter Cities

What do recent national politics have to do with transportation planning? For Sarah Goodyear, the connection is clear: it's about having access to good data for solving real-world problems.

November 9, 2012, 5:00 AM PST

By Erica Gutiérrez


TrafficCOM is a new, comparatively affordable and easy-to-use gizmo that allows users to collect traffic data and share it immediately. For inventors Aurash Khawarzad and Ted Ullrich, this is an "inexpensive solution for one of the most pressing data-collection needs in the urban portfolio: traffic frequency and speed," reports Goodyear. Most importantly, it collects such data for use by "community groups, neighborhood associations, and advocacy organizations who are concerned about the impact of traffic on their streets and want to pursue solutions, but who have been frustrated by the impenetrability of the processes surrounding traffic planning."

The impetus to develop the device is rooted in a realization made on a recent trip to Moscow "that [local advocacy groups] needed solid data on traffic conditions to begin making recommendations," says Khawarzad. Development for the device was enabled by "key support, in the form of a small stipend and some feedback, after being invited to participate in the recent San Francisco Urban Prototyping Festival." reports Goodyear. At a cost of $139, the pre-assembled and plug-in ready device is accessible and user-friendly.

Thursday, November 8, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

LAX Cars

Car Noise Is Killing Us

It’s not just traffic collisions that kill—a new study from researcher at Rutgers finds that the loud noises emanating from cars has direct impact on heart health in Americans.

May 6, 2022 - Streetsblog USA

State Capital of Utah

Affordable Housing Proposal Faces Backlash in Salt Lake City

A public hearing last week revealed widespread opposition to a plan to loosen density and height limits and reduce parking requirements to encourage more developers to build affordable housing.

1 minute ago - The Salt Lake Tribune

Two people on a bike trail with downtown Houston in the background

Houston Bike Summit Makes In-Person Return

The event will focus on improving bike safety and continuing maintenance on the city's growing network of bike lanes and trails.

1 hour ago - Houston Public Media

Austin Bus

Austin’s Transit CEO Moving to D.C.

After overseeing a major system redesign and plans for its largest-ever expansion, the head of Capital Metro will take over Washington, D.C.’s transit agency.

2 hours ago - KUT

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.