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L.A. doesn't save data on traffic growth

From the front page of the LA Times web page, an article on traffic counts!: L.A. doesn't save data on traffic growth

"But although the sensors and computers collect massive amounts of data about traffic patterns and congestion, they do little to help engineers plan for the city's growing transportation needs -- or determine how development is affecting traffic.

That's because the city does not save the information for more than a few days, using it only to direct traffic in real time by adjusting the speed at which lights turn from green to amber to red."

This is true elsewhere (Minneapolis e.g.), and a damn shame. I have been in meetings about this, but people are frugal and the beneficiaries are in different departments/units than those who would do the work.


You’re absolutely right, it is a shame.

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve recently found your blog and that I'm really enjoying your insights and news items that I would’ve otherwise missed.

We have some great stuff here in Portland. Portal data (ramp meter), traffic cameras and loop detectors are used and being expanded. While we don't always use that info for coming up with a project list for 20 year needs, we do use it for staging, investment prioritization and validating/calibrating operation models such as VISSIM. We are in the process of developing a program that will automatically transfer real time loop detector information into VISSIM. Truth be told, projects are the result of politics, not strategy or based purely on need. As nice as it sounds, you'll be in for a long frusturating career if you think it should be otherwise.

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