Sacramento County’s new Traffic Operations Center (TOC) is the intersection where the asphalt network meets the information superhighway. Traditionally, traffic engineers have used predictive methods of traffic control to manage traffic flow. The Traffic Operations Center facility offers for the first time the possibility of improving traffic flow as problems occur. By acting as a focal point for traffic information the TOC will permit engineers to more effectively use existing traffic management tools and provide a platform for the implementation of future technology advances in traffic management.
Through extensive partnering arrangements with private sector corporations and information sharing agreements with other government agencies an unprecedented level of real time information will be available in a single location. Traffic engineers will be able to use this resource to gather current roadway condition information for decision making to improve overall traffic flow in the long term and possibly reduce congestion by suggesting alternate routes to drivers when incidents occur in rush hour traffic.
A high speed fiber optic data network will bring video images of high volume traffic locations, law enforcement situation reports, and intersection telemetry all together in one location. Using this information engineers will be able to adjust signal timing and priority where appropriate and communicate with the traveling public via changeable message signs and roadway information radio transmitters. Drivers will have more current information about current route conditions and the roadway network itself will become more efficient under conditions of high demand. Today’s investment in facilities and technology will reduce delay, congestion, and pollution for many tomorrows.