Traffic Operations Center

Traffic Monitoring Camera
These cameras are one of the greatest tools made available to traffic engineers because of the advances in technology. The cameras show how traffic is doing or how it is responding to changes. The video pictures are saved for a few weeks and can be reviewed. The video pictures are sent to TOC through a wireless network.

Computerized Traffic Control System
A computer, called a controller, controls the traffic signals at an intersection. Most of the time many intersection controllers are linked together and work in a group. Each group has a master computer that makes sure the intersections work in harmony. The master controllers themselves are connected to a computer located at the Traffic Operations Center. The computer monitors the masters and the controllers. In Waterloo more than 90% of the signals are linked to TOC.

Video Detection System
Video detection systems use cameras which detect approaching vehicles. Traffic signal green times are extended based on the number of vehicles the cameras detect. When the system sees a car waiting behind a red light it asks the intersection computer for green lights. The video detection system can count cars, measure speeds, produce reports, and connect to the internet. These systems are connected to the Traffic Operations Center. We monitor, control, and program them from TOC.

Emergency Priority System
Signals respond to a request by an approaching fire truck or ambulance. Signals turn green for the emergency vehicle.