Philadelphia will get better picture of gridlock, but has limited tools for easing it

The city of Philadelphia is getting a traffic control center to monitor and alert drivers of congestion in the city. The city has limited options for fighting gridlock once it’s spotted.

The $2.3 million traffic control center will be used to watch for accidents and congestion on the city streets. Stephen Buckley is Deputy Commissioner for Transportation at the Streets Department. He said the center will be able to adjust some traffic signals in response.

“There are approximately 3,000 signalized intersections in the city of Philadelphia, of them about 1,000 of them run on what we will call computers the other 2,000 functionally have clocks in them so in the short term we are going to have 800 or 900 connected by fiber optics and we will be able to communicate with those real time,” said Buckley.

Buckley said for now, the center will not have much video assistance.

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“Currently the streets department has only 12 cameras most of them tend to be in Center City,” he said. “The police do have cameras we will be sharing feeds with police and PennDOT has approximately 15 in the city of Philadelphia on arterials and another 200 on freeways.”

Buckley is hoping to expand the camera network as soon as possible.

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