City of Valdosta

A Traffic Monitoring and Communication System to Improve Safety, Connectivity, and Efficiency

Initial Project Period (2020 – 2021)

The City of Valdosta utilized the GA Smart Communities Challenge grant funding to pilot a smart traffic management system connecting all 128 city traffic signals, with enhancements to the system including hardware and software upgrades at signals and in the traffic control operations center and installation of communications responders in certain fire trucks. Valdosta tested new signal timings from a recent traffic signal timing study as well as implement Emergency Vehicle signal pre-emption and roll out the TravelSafely smart phone application for all drivers. The city will set up community outreach and training workshops about these new smart traffic systems and the TravelSafely App. During this pilot implementation the city evaluated the effects of the new system on the city’s traffic operations and the behavior of the traveling public by comparing before and after traffic patterns and travel times. Surveys will measure citizen’s attitudes towards these technologies. The project team also engaged with Valdosta State University students in research activities and internship opportunities to assist the city in the successful implementation of these smart traffic technologies. Additionally, educational and workforce development materials were prepared to engage the next generation of engineering and technology professionals at VSU.

Dr. Baabak Ashuri, Professor and Fellow, Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (BBISS), at Georgia Tech School of Building Construction and Civil & Environmental Engineering, partnered with Valdosta on the project and participated in all engineering and research aspects of the project, including data collection, methods for statistical analysis of data and development of models related to studies on decision analysis of including other emergency vehicles and school buses in the connected vehicle system in the city. The research team also included faculty from Valdosta State University to form a multi-university, multi-disciplinary team.

Project Accolades (2021 – 2022)

This project was selected as a finalist for a World Smart City Award in 2021. You can learn more here.

This project won a SMART 50 Award in 2022. You can learn more here.

Smart Community Corps Internship Support (2022)

Continuing to build on the previous 2020 GA Smart Communities Challenge project which used grant funding to develop, implement, and evaluate a traffic monitoring and communications system, the City of Valdosta will work with Smart Community Corps interns to take a deeper dive with the project in the summer of 2022!

Working with Larry Ogden, Traffic Manager for the City of Valdosta, along with Dr. Barry Hojjatie, Professor of Engineering Studies at Valdosta State University and Dr. Baabak Ashuri, Professor and Fellow, Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (BBISS), at Georgia Tech School of Building Construction and Civil & Environmental Engineering, SCC interns will take a deeper examination of the previous data and analyses from the 2020 Georgia SMART Communities Challenge and provide an additional opportunity to collect new data and analysis identified during the deeper look.

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