TRAFFIC TROUBLES

HOW DATA CAN CHANGE THE WAY OUR CITIES OPERATE

Posted by Daniel Malak

Vehicle Traffic

 

We’ve all experienced the frustration of being stuck in traffic, even going out of the way to avoid peak transit times and impacted areas. Instead of walking or driving longer distances, we ask a bigger question– can cities do anything to change their traffic problems?

The simple answer is yes, and here’s how:

 

IDENTIFY WHAT KIND OF TRAFFIC ISSUES ARE MOST PREVALENT 

Even though traffic is inevitable, understanding the root of the congestion can help create a solution. A survey by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics indicated that women typically drive less and men drive longer, 45% of daily trips are usually taken for shopping and errands, and the most daily trips taken occur on Fridays. Knowing your city’s demographics and primary industry by region can help you evaluate and forecast traffic trends.  

 

UNDERSTAND WHAT KIND OF INFRASTRUCTURE IS NEEDED 

Nothing diminishes the vibrance of a city more than clogged thoroughfares and low pedestrian traffic flows. That’s why city planners should pay close attention to both alleviating those stresses and making the outcomes more user friendly. Consider a city that adds a bike lane or creates a walking trail. Doing so oftentimes encourage residents not to drive, thereby reducing the amount of cars on the road, while simultaneously boosting business confidence of retailers with brick and mortar store fronts.  

 

KNOW YOUR POTENTIAL MARKETS 

Innovation is seeing exponential developments in various industries. As a result, job growth has expanded in several cities across the nation. Municipalities are building mixed-use residences and open-space shopping destinations as a means to attract and retain newcomers. What does this mean for commercial real estate brokers? Traffic count data can affect the way property and retail owners select sites, adjust rental rates, and evolve city centers. By providing accurate and real-time data on pedestrian and vehicular traffic, cities are able to narrow their focus on the kinds of people within their districts and share the data with brokers who can lease spaces to businesses that appeal to them.  

 

WHAT IS YOUR COMPETITION THINKING? 

With so many advancements, cities are adopting new ways to integrate smart technology in their future developments. Computer vision is at the top of the list because it helps support government authorities in their effort to understand information such as the number of commuters who walk, bike, take the subway or drive in a specific area. It can even show what routes people take, how long they stay on the route, and if they decide to stop in a local store for a coffee.

 

SEEK OUT EMERGING TRENDS

City planners, engineers, and business improvement districts are actively building better and smarter cities. To that end, authority figures should seek out better ways to engage with citizens, meet their demands, and increase overall well being. Taking steps, such as adding smart lighting sensors, can raise efficiency levels while producing valuable insights that can help districts lower crime rates, increase energy savings, and decrease traffic congestion.

 

Curious about more ways in which your city can become smarter? Reach out to us or schedule a live demo.

 

Daniel Malak

ABOUT: DANIEL MALAK

Daniel Malak works on the Sales and Marketing team at Motionloft. When he’s not busy finding solutions for retail industry leaders or commercial real estate brokers, he can usually be found cooking something fancy or researching the next biggest IoT trends for smart cities.

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