In 2020, we faced unprecedented challenges as a nation – from the global pandemic to raging fires on the west coast, a monstrous hurricane season and much more. This has forced many people, communities, companies and public agencies to shift strategies and adopt flexible methodologies to solve many of the problems they are presented with. Many have adopted a digital-first environment to foster collaboration during the stay-at-home orders that were implemented across the country. Iteris partnered with agencies nationwide to provide solutions to help address and alleviate the burden of changing environments by providing cloud-based software solutions, data analytics and professional expertise.
Over the past few months, we have explored solutions that support emergency response efforts, including:
Responding to COVID-19
This year was one for the record books. COVID-19 brought uncertainty but also drastically changed how people travel and the demands on the roadways. Many agencies were forced to change signal timing, and others noticed an increase in speeding and ultimately the frequency of incidents.
During COVID-19, many agencies have seen a drastic decrease in traffic and an increase in speeding, leading to a higher number of crashes. We explored with Hillsborough, Florida how they leveraged Iteris’ ClearGuide transportation performance solution to support media relations providing relevant information on COVID’s impact on traffic trends.
Earlier this year, Iteris leveraged data and insights from the ClearGuide solution to create a new metric that helps agencies quickly understand the trends and impact COVID-19 had on congestion at a glance. While created with COVID impacts in mind, these data can also be leveraged in other disaster response efforts, such as major incidents like the example seen below of a major airplane crash in southern California in 2019. By leveraging ClearGuide’s anomalies layer we can visualize the impact this major event and road closure had on surrounding arterials.
With this mobility intelligence available, agencies can draft response plans for when the worst-case scenarios happen. This type of data can also be valuable when planning for major events. In an election year like 2020, for example, Iteris’ ClearGuide solution and the Iteris Back-To-Normal Index can be leveraged to understand how effective response efforts were during planning for any large public events.
Responding to the West Coast Fires
The coastal region of the west experienced a challenging fire season in 2020. Agencies were faced with the unprecedented challenge of managing COVID impacts and response during an extremely active fire season. This combination required a scalable, remote-centric solution to traveler information management to inform road users of relevant road closures and evacuation routes to ensure they have easy access to the safest available travel routes.
The ability to scale local resources to help improve relevant information flow is pivotal to any extreme weather event, as most recently seen in Virginia with the latest cold front. Having a centralized source where residents can reference the latest road closures and transportation impacts, citizens can plan to use the appropriate evacuation routes.
Responding to and Planning for Hurricane Season
Earlier this year, we hosted a two-part webinar series with multiple agencies impacted by hurricanes. During these discussions with smart mobility experts from VDOT, GDOT, ALDOT, and NCDOT we explored the strategies and tools these agencies use to prepare and respond to these major weather events.
If you would like to learn more about how ALDOT uses ClearGuide during its planning efforts, download the case study here.
About the Author:
James Esquivel is a marketing manager at Iteris.
Connect with James on LinkedIn.