Monitoring Traffic with Remote Technology in Sydney
Inner West Council recently started using remote technology to monitor traffic across their road networks. This has allowed them to drastically cut the time spent checking on surveys and implement a much more efficient and effective data collection process.
The suburbs making up Inner West are situated within 10kms of Sydney’s city centre. For over 20 years the local government council have been using MetroCount traffic monitoring equipment to understand vehicle movements and inform road upgrades.
They started using the Remote Access Link in 2019, which converts existing tube traffic counters into data collection devices that can be checked, managed and downloaded from any computer running MTE® software.
We chatted with Peter Daidone, Technical Traffic & Parking Officer at Inner West Council to find out more.
Last year Inner West opted to start using the Remote Access Link. What triggered this decision?
We needed to buy new traffic counters and saw the benefits of adding the Remote Access Link to them. Being able to remotely connect to our traffic monitoring sites means we don’t need to visit the site to check on it or download data.
We are able to see if there are any issues with the rubber tubes sensors from the office. This allows us to fix problems promptly and avoid gaps in data.
Since 3 councils were amalgamated into Inner West Council in 2016, we now have a much larger road network to monitor. It can take us up to 30 minutes to reach some of our traffic monitoring sites. So it saves us a lot of time being able to check in on all of them from the office.
This has meant we’ve been able to increase checks to daily, allowing us to diagnose and fix issues more promptly.
What traffic data do you collect and analyse? How is this information useful to Inner West?
Our traffic team collects volume, classification and 85th percentile speed data which is required for committee reports. This information is used to:
- Identify speeding issues and inform whether to install traffic calming measures.
- Respond to resident concerns with up-to-date heavy vehicle and speed information.
- Help predict and prioritise road resurfacing/maintenance projects.
- Determine if refuge islands are required on some roads.
- Track and predict yearly traffic growth.
How many Links do you have? Can you tell us how you use them?
Council has 10 Remote Access Links that are deployed with RoadPod® VT counters. We usually keep them installed at the same location for 7 to 12 days to get a good representation of traffic data over both weekdays and weekends.
We have a schedule set up so we can access our counters live from the office between 9am-noon every day.
We make sure everything is working as it should, check the availability to download data and determine if we need to keep the survey running for longer or not. All of this results in us visiting survey sites much less frequently, saving time to focus on other tasks.
What functions of Remote Access do you use most?
We use all of the functions, especially downloading data remotely, checking tube sensor balance and the remaining memory and battery life of the counter.