GIS software helps Philadelphia replace traffic lights in public works project and save a cool million
Philadelphia’s city administration is using ArcGIS software from Redlands, Calif.-based Esri to implement its LED Traffic Lights Project, a massive traffic light replacement program. The project is funded in part by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 public works grant.
With ArcGIS, the city’s streets department will track and manage the public works project, which will result in replacing 87,000 incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Estimated operational savings resulting from lower use of electricity, the greater longevity of LED bulbs, and the fixed department costs to replace bulbs are expected to top $1 million per year.
In addition to saving money and field personnel time, Philadelphia’s enterprise-wide implementation of the software provides data access to other departments within the city, resulting in a return on investment and wider use of the data across a variety of public works functions.
“The opportunity to capture the asset data for the light replacement project and use it for other applications within the Department of Streets and share it with other departments saves the city a considerable amount of time and money,” says Andy Mehos, GIS manager for the city’s Department of Streets. “It is significant enough to offset any cost of software development and the purchase of equipment. After observing our success in implementing this project, other city departments are considering similar GIS [geographic information system] projects of their own.”
The streets department employed a consultant to develop a custom GIS application integrated with ArcGIS that supplies a spatially enabled mobile solution for tracking street-related city assets. The application’s bar code-scanning capability provides a quick way to add an LED bulb record to the geodatabase while in the field. In addition to LED bulbs, the department is capturing asset data about traffic heads, traffic control boxes, and light and sign pole attachments with the application.
Esri offers a variety of web-based information on its public works solutions, including several public works case studies.
video that discusses the public works project.