published Monday, January 14th, 2013

Technology aiding Cleveland traffic counts

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    Bart Borden, electric division manager for Cleveland Utilities

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Cleveland Utilities has access to a new labor-saving tool in its efforts to measure and improve traffic flows throughout the city.

Utility officials recently discussed the benefits of the city's decision to adopt an automated pole-mounted camera system for use in collecting pedestrian and vehicular traffic data.

"This new technology will really allow us to move traffic signal projects along quickly," said Bart Borden, vice president of Cleveland Utilities' electric division. "It is a vital tool to determine proper timing and designs for intersections."

The camera-based data collection system, manufactured by Miovision, is a great labor-saving device, said Tad Bacon, traffic signals coordinator for Cleveland Utilities.

The portable device, which can extend from a height of 5 feet to 25 feet, takes only about 10 minutes to set up and has power to operate on its own for up to 72 hours, Bacon said. When monitoring is complete, the data is uploaded to Miovision and a report generated within three to five days.

"We can do several intersections within a few days," said Bacon, when comparing the automated camera system to traditional handheld traffic counters.

Another benefit the camera offers, he said, is that Cleveland Utilities no longer has to pay a civil engineering contractor to perform data collection as part of a traffic lighting project, which saves both money and time.

The city will use the $4,000 devices to monitor pedestrian traffic along Cleveland's greenway and other projects, officials said.

In other business, Cleveland Utilities is making the final tweaks to its upgrade of the downtown traffic signal network. For the most part, it comes down to communications work, Borden said.

The new radio-based signal network, which controls 13 intersections along the downtown corridors of Ocoee, Broad and Inman streets, will require a translator device for it to connect to the utility's fiber-optic traffic system. Also, one signal radio had to have its antenna adjusted.

The electric division also is participating in a Tennessee Department of Transportation project to widen portions of Benton Pike and Durkee Road that serve Cleveland's new Whirlpool site. The line work is awaiting some steel poles and is expected to cost $102,765.

Borden also recognized the efforts of five Cleveland Utilities linemen who went to assist communities in Delaware and New Jersey in the wake of Super Storm Sandy: foremen Travis Ownby and John McClain and linemen Steve Kiser, Ernie Cannon and Max McCann.

"We are very proud of their willingness to help our fellow man in times of great need," he said.

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