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.

Read Time: 1 minute

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

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A tent covered in blue and black tarps sits on a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk with the white ziggurat-topped L.A. City Hall looming in the background

L.A. County Towns Clash Over Homelessness Policies

Local governments often come to different conclusions about how to address homelessness within their respective borders, but varying approaches only exacerbate the problem.

February 3 - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of mixed-use development with parks and stormwater retention on former Houston landfill site

A Mixed-Use Vision for Houston Landfill Site

A local nonprofit is urging the city to consider adding mixed-use development to the site, which city officials plan to turn into a stormwater detention facility.

February 3 - Urban Edge

Aerial view of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin at sunset

Milwaukee County Makes Substantial Progress on Homelessness

In 2022, the county’s point-in-time count of unhoused people reflected just 18 individuals, the lowest in the country.

February 3 - Urban Milwaukee