GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY/Video upgrade improves L.A. traffic center
Officials in Los Angeles have realized for some time that more and bigger roads will not necessarily alleviate the city’s choking traffic. So the city is working smarter as well as harder to solve its traffic woes.
The Los Angeles Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control Operations Center, designed to help manage traffic in the city limits and on the “Smart Corridor” of the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10), is now better equipped to fulfill its mission.
Late last year, the city installed a SuperView 100 multi-video windowing system from RGB Spectrum, Alameda, Calif., in the operations center. The units are connected to large-screen projection displays in the center, allowing each display to show four live videos simultaneously on one screen, a single video expanded to fill the screen or mixed video and computer-generated graphics. Engineers can observe traffic conditions at up to 16 separate locations simultaneously.
By using a variety of electronic surveillance and detection systems, traffic engineers can quickly pinpoint and solve problems, keeping traffic flowing more smoothly.
The cycling and timing of 1,956 of metro L.A.’s 4,100 traffic signals can be adjusted by computer to compensate for accidents, traffic jams, road construction and other potential bottlenecks, says Max Paetzold, senior systems analyst with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, which operates the center. Better gas mileage, pollution reduction and reduced commute time for drivers are among the objectives.
The final system design includes seven customized 67-inch Trooper enclosures with data grade CRT video projectors. Maps, traffic grids, other computer-generated information and live video pictures are among the information displayed on these screens.
The user can combine a high-resolution computer screen with four simultaneous live video sources on a single monitor or projector. Video inputs may be from any standard video source, including broadcast footage, tapes and cameras.