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Multimodal Corridors: Intelligent Transportation Systems

Multimodal Corridors: Intelligent Transportation Systems

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) is the collective term for a variety of advanced technologies intended to aid travel, enhance the capacity and efficiency of the highway system, improve safety, and assist in the active management of facilities and traffic. ITS can provide real-time traffic information to motorists and emergency services, informing motorists about the best route to travel, and allowing emergency services to remove roadway incidents quickly. These systems are under development throughout the United States and will have long-term benefit within the City of Boulder.

Given the limited ability to add more roads in the city, ITS helps maximize the use of our existing road system and control congestion. The integrated elements of ITS include:

  • Fiber-optic cables communicate information;
  • Sensors to provide information on average traffic speed and volume;
  • Closed-circuit cameras at major intersections to provide live video information on traffic flow;
  • Variable message signs inform motorists of incidents ahead and supply alternate route options;
  • Synchronization of traffic signals;
  • Direct emergency services tie-in for immediate response to incidents;
  • Information sharing with transit centers about traffic flow; and
  • Information on parking availability and location.

An Example of ITS ... Transit Information in Real-Time

Key to the success of the Community Transit Network (CTN) is the fact that with high-frequency service, the user does not need a schedule and can rely on a bus coming every 10 minutes. Since high-frequency service for all the transit routes in Boulder is unaffordable, an innovative and promising solution for bus service with frequency of 20 minutes or longer is to provide the user with real bus arrival times through the Internet, cell phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). This system is based on Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and removes the uncertainty and wasted time of waiting for a bus. In the Action Plan and Vision, all buses in Boulder will be equipped with real-time capabilities.

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