A Closer Look at Managing Traffic in Leon County

Regional Transportation Management Center
Posted at 4:00 PM, May 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-25 05:40:59-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (#WTXLDigital) -- Ever feel like somebody's watching you? Well, if you're driving around Leon County, chances are you're right.

The City of Tallahassee's Regional Transportation Management Center has cameras set up all around the region.

"We're monitoring 19 miles of I-10 in between Midway and Chaires," signal system engineer Wayne Bryan said.

124 cameras overlook Leon County and the interstate, and with eyes all over the city, the Center is making sure traffic keeps moving along.

"Our goal is to minimize the impact of incidents on I-10, so that reduces the impact to city streets, especially during the peak travel periods," Bryan said.

The Center is keeping track of that traffic even more now, recently extending its hours of operation - now Monday to Friday, 5 AM to 9 PM.

"It allows us to respond to incidents that should occur early, well before traffic on the way to work comes in," Bryan said.

A drive down Tennessee Street from the Leon-Gadsden County border to Florida State University during the evening rush hour takes around 25 minutes. It could take a lot longer, and if it does, the Center can make real-time adjustments.

"What we'll do is we'll first look and see if this incident is going to cause a 20-minute delay - a 20-minute impact on the system. If it does, then we'll start altering signal timing in the immediate area right then," Bryan said.

The Center can lengthen or shorten the timing of a green light to keep traffic from building up. The staff also updates the electronic signs on I-10 that list travel times, all to give drivers a heads up.

"There are a lot of incidents - from disabled vehicles to out of gas motorists to crashes out on I-10," Bryan said.

While the staff watches out for traffic on these cameras, they say that is the only thing they're looking for. "These cameras are strictly used for surveillance," Bryan said. "They don't go to law enforcement or anything like that. We don't write tickets with them."

While they won't come after you, they want you to reach out to them.

If you see a potential delay on the roads, you can call the Center at 850-891-2080.