At DOT, we are constantly working on new technology to help keep motorists and pedestrians safe, grow our economy, and reduce congestion.
And last Monday, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez joined New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan to launch “Midtown In Motion.” This is a sophisticated new approach to improve traffic and safeguard pedestrians in the 110-square-block heart of Manhattan.
Like the Fast 14 project I blogged about last week, the “Midtown In Motion” system is an exciting innovation brought to drivers and pedestrians through the support of our Federal Highway Administration.
Midtown In Motion gives New York City traffic engineers the ability to see real-time data transmitted from sensors, video cameras and E-ZPass readers. With this information, they can respond immediately to changes in traffic flow caused by construction, special events, crashes and other activities. For example, they can adjust signal timing along a specific corridor to clear up an emerging traffic jam before it even occurs.
Through improved traffic flow and added turn lanes at 53 intersections, we also expect the project to improve pedestrian safety in a high-traffic area that is so crowded with workers and tourists.
DOT’s Federal Highway Administration provided $1.2 million in funding for this project, part of an investment it is making in more than 200 Traffic Management Centers in cities across the country. These “silent sentinels” are helping people get to work, get home, and get to soccer games and dance recitals while spending less time stuck in traffic.
They’re helping goods move more effectively so our businesses can grow and compete and create jobs. And they're cutting the tailpipe emissions commonly associated with traffic jams.
But most importantly, traffic engineers can help save lives in emergencies by cutting precious minutes of travel time as police, fire crews and other first responders rush to help people in need.
Innovative systems like “Midtown in Motion” help keep America moving, and we are excited to see them make communities across the nation safer and more livable. It's one more way that DOT is making a real difference in people's lives.