Home > Complete Streets, Cultural Movement, Economics, Transportation Education > Putting some numbers to our community advocacy

Putting some numbers to our community advocacy

Thank you

Measure it!

It yet another sign that I’ve slipped into traffic geekdom, I’m slightly drooling at the thought of a TrafficCOM at the MyWHaT disposal.

TrafficCom is only $139

Last week Atlantic Cities highlighted a device that will help democratize information used by traffic planners and engineers. The little gizmo measures everything currently measured by much more expensive tools–volume, rate, and speed–at an entry cost of $139.00.

At that price, it offers an opportunity for a more open source approach to transportation planning. As well, now, if you aren’t satisfied with the confusing counts and speed data that defies experience, you can measure it yourself.  

Information uploaded to the TrafficCom website is mapped and shared for everyone to access.  Used well, this could put information at the ready for neighborhood advocates and organizations. This device would also be helpful in measuring bicycle counts.

What do you think? Could Traverse City traffic advocates use a TrafficCom? 

Sponsor needed

I see this as a community asset and I’m asking for a sponsor. I pledge, if a generous MyWHT reader donates $139 that I will only use the TrafficCom for good and not evil…although it will certainly be used for mischief. In addition, the first to donate $139 to the cause will see their street the first to be measured once the gizmo arrives. UPDATE: As of 9:39 am, we have a winner!  The first street to be measured will be E. 10th Street. The community could always use another system though, so if we get another full sponsor, we will add a second device to the MyWHaT library…the following offer still stands.

If the full $139 is too much, any contribution to the cause made will queue your street for measuring. So, donate $10, $20, or whatever amount you can and mention “MEASURE IT” in the comment section to be put on the list.

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Help bring a TrafficCom to the MyWHaT tool box

$10, $20…$139

MEASURE IT!

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Reminder: Before commenting, please read the comments policy. If you feel you need to rant against the world while raising enumerable tangential issues to personally attack individuals or organizations, consider creating your own blog and tracking back to MyWHaT. If it is of value, you will attract readers. Or, send me a message with all the rants you wish; I’m a connoisseur of ranting. Otherwise, please contribute to a healthy, friendly discussion in the comments section below.

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  1. November 12, 2012 at 9:54 am

    We’re looking at possibly buying some in Detroit as well. Something to keep in mind: these units don’t differentiate between cars and bicycles. There are more expensive units that do, and TrafficCOM said they are looking to add that feature in the future.

  2. November 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Good to know that it needs to be balanced with good observational data, thanks for the heads-up.

  3. Greg
    November 12, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Interesting, I wonder about the legalities of placing this device in public ROW’s. Who would be responsible for any injuries caused from slips, trips and falls? I find it hard to believe the City would allow this device to be used. I can’t wait for a concerned citizen to call the police on a potential explosive device with a timer located along City Street. I actually thought we had an Engineering Department that was capable and authorized for this task. Maybe another citizen might think someone is littering and dispose of the toy in the trash.

  4. November 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Cool gizmo but is it legal to put one of these across a public ROW without some sort of permit? Any way to secure the thing so somebody doesn’t steal it?

  5. November 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Good legality question and worth exploring before conducting any projects. If at anything to be aware of the rules and consequences (according to CounterCars.com in the comment sections of the Atlantic Cities article, it is legal). I actually see the TrafficCom being used by citizen groups in a sanctioned manner to compliment the information already available. Tools like these can provide more educated engagement. In the end, no one should be afraid of too much data and innovative approaches to it. As for leaving it unintended, we shall see…I see value in adding the observational data along side the volume, rate and speed data so planned on sitting nearby the little gizmo with a thermos of coffee.

  6. November 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Today I spoke with representatives from MDOT and SEMCOG. SEMCOG has their own road counters, but doesn’t own any roads. They simply ask the road agency to install the counters. They said they’ve not experienced any resistance, then again, they’re SEMCOG. We still may acquire some for use in the city of Detroit.

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