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Traffic Monitoring Technology To Ease Rush Hour On SR 347 Through Maricopa

(Photo courtesy ADOT)
An ADOT technician monitoring traffic conditions remotely.

Arizona Department of Transportation has been keeping tabs on traffic flow in Nogales and around Phoenix. Now, ADOT has installed infrared and video cameras at each intersection on State Route 347 to monitor, in real time, the long rush-hour waits.

ADOT monitors traffic flow remotely by checking travel times between intersections using Wi-Fi signals, like from smartphones.

This technology gives officials precise details for changing traffic signals to improve the flow of traffic as it picks up for morning and afternoon rush hour.

ADOT spokesman Tom Herrmann says the department is now adding traffic monitoring around Maricopa.

“Maricopa has grown quite a lot, it’s one of the fastest-growing communities in the state," Herrmann said. "It’s an area where traffic is becoming more of a concern because there are more people, there are more cars on the road.”

Average daily traffic along some of SR 347 last year was 40,000 travelers, 10,000 more than a few years ago.

“This is exciting because it’s something we can do hands-on, on-the-fly, in-the-moment when there’s a traffic issue on State Route 347,” he said.

The remote-monitoring programs like this in Nogales keep track of produce shipments, and the technology will be coming to the Tucson area in 2017.

Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.