Traffic Control Center: Behind the scenes

Traffic Control Room
Posted at 7:41 PM, Feb 13, 2013

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)-- Keeping your eyes on the roads at all times helps keep you safe but there's also some city workers looking out for you behind the scenes, controlling the signals to get you through town.

It's not something you see but it's something that impacts your everyday commute.

"We probably have about 98 cameras that can monitor about 80 percent of our 340 intersections," the City of Tallahassee System Signal Engineer Wayne Bryan.

Tucked inside the Tallahassee City Hall lies the traffic management center. This is where workers say they strive to get you from point A to point B safely and efficiently. Wayne Bryan oversees the center. He's worked as the system signal engineer for 13 years.

"All the technology here, it's great to play with but one of the major things is knowing we're really helping the motorists around town," said Bryan.

Maintaining and monitoring traffic and school zone signals through Leon County is a $2.6 million operation. The city owns many of those signals, but they also maintain the ones owned by Leon County, Florida State University, and the Florida Department of Transportation. The city charges fees for their services, which Bryan says, brings in more than $366,000 in revenue.

"There's probably about five new intersections installed a year," said Bryan "We don't put cameras at every intersection. We just put them in the best place for them so we can see as many intersections as possible."

The video on the screen isn't recorded and they don't use the system to issue traffic citations. It's there to get you around crashes, broken down vehicles and road construction. One upcoming project to look out for, the widening of capital circle northwest from Orange Avenue to Tennessee Street, an effort to make even more room for the growing number of people traveling through Leon County.

"In about 2000, we completed a before and after study and the reduction in travel time alone was over 15 percent for people that alone paid for the system," said Bryan.

Now after 16 years of operation the traffic management center will move to the state of the art public safety building in August. It's a more than $47 million project. Among first responders the city and county dispatch will be combined inside that building, so that means an even quicker response time to steer you clear of any problems on the road.

Wayne Bryan says you if you see problems with the traffic signals, you can always call them at (850) 891-2080.