The City of Frisco has received an ITS Texas award for its innovative approaches to alleviating traffic congestion and improving road safety through four pioneering data sharing initiatives.
The Texas Chapter of ITS America has honored Frisco for developing and implementing four projects that use transportation system data to improve mobility and save lives. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) awarded Frisco three grants totaling about US$380,000 to help support the initiatives.
The city’s success at data sharing enabled NCTCOG to establish a grant program to support other communities sharing data to improve mobility throughout the region. The four schemes highlighted in the award are:
• ‘Closest To’ dispatch system – The city is already experiencing about a 20% reduction in police and fire response times for top priority calls after launching its new dispatch system last November. ‘Closest To’ dispatch integrates global positioning system (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) data with the city’s public safety dispatch system to automatically choose the best, ‘closest’ resources available for high priority calls.
• Incident Management Performance Measures – Frisco collects traffic incident, time-related data with the goals of reducing congestion and improving safety. Dispatchers note the time crashes are initially reported and ‘cleared’, and also consider first responder arrival times. Engineers determine when traffic flow returns to ‘normal’. Minimizing the duration of an incident reduces congestion, improves motorist safety, and reduces risk of first responders being injured in the roadway, while also reducing the likelihood of a secondary crash.
• Real-time traffic signal data sharing – Frisco is first city in Texas, and the second city in the USA, to deploy technologies that allow traffic signals to ‘talk’ to vehicles. As of last June, 122 traffic signals are streaming real-time data to Traffic Technology Services (TTS), which uses the information to predict when signals change from red to green. TTS is currently sharing the signal data with Audi drivers who view a heads-up display inside certain models, and other auto makers are expected to join the program soon.
• Waze Connected Citizen Program – Frisco event road closures and major accidents will soon be automatically posted into the Waze app for public convenience, with real-time incident data flowing back into city systems.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers for incorporating technologies into traffic solutions,” said Paul Knippel, Frisco’s director of engineering services. “This award helps us send a signal to our residents, businesses and visitors that our efforts are headed in the right direction.”