Electronic Traffic Management

by Gary Goldstein, Asst. News Ed.; Civil Engineering—ASCE, New York, N.Y. 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1984, Vol. 54, Issue 11, Pg. 36-39

Document Type: Feature article


High technology has entered the world of traffic and transportation management with such new optical and electronic devices as transponders, retro-reflective stickers, microprocessors, digital recorders, and telemetry. These new measuring and management techniques make it possible to obtain measurements of traffic flow and volume—even individual vehicle speed and size—instantaneously and over broad areas. This provides a reliable database on which to establish transportation safety and revenue planning, in an era when user fees are being widely adopted as a means of securing funds necessary for maintenance and rehabilitation of roads. Several cities are changing from electro-mechanical traffic light systems to computer controlled systems that use timing cycles that vary according to the time of day and to traffic demand, and have installed automatic bus monitoring systems to save on bus costs and improve service. Other communities are using retro-reflective stickers, transponders and loop sensors connected to microcomputers and telemetry to measure traffic, vary tolls, plan facilities, improve security and traffic congestion, and establish user fees for using roads at certain times of the day.

Subject Headings: Traffic management | Light (artificial) | Traffic congestion | Flow measurement | Traffic signals | Volume measurement | Traffic flow | Traffic safety

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