- Portland, OR has partnered with AT&T, Intel, Portland General Electric and Current by GE on the launch of a traffic sensor project to improve road safety.
- The city will install 200 sensors on street lights along three of Portland's deadliest streets, which will gather real-time data such as vehicle and pedestrian counts as well as vehicle speeds. Traffic engineers will use the collected information to make street safety design upgrades.
- The $1 million sensor project is the first for the larger Smart City PDX initiative, which aims to use data and technology to improve people's lives. The system is designed to handle future growth and upgrades.
Although this is Portland's first project launch under the Smart City PDX initiative, it's not the city's first foray into data gathering. In April, the city announced that it was partnering with tech startup Ride Report to collect feedback from thousands of cyclists who used the company's mobile app in an effort to improve bike infrastructure. Portland also partnered with AT&T and Cisco earlier this year on mobility and structural sensors as well as integrating a smart city operating platform.
Portland's leaders have made a hard push recently to improve street safety. In January, the city council approved a measure lowering the speed limit from 25 to 20 mph in residential areas as part of its Vision Zero campaign to reduce traffic deaths. Last month, the city said it would standardize protected bike lane design, in addition to identifying 450 miles of roadway that could accommodate the protected lanes.
The new traffic sensor project will be the city's most comprehensive data collection effort thus far aimed at informing better street design and improving safety.
"Designing safe streets starts with good data," said Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Director Leah Treat in a statement. "Until now, collecting this data was time and volunteer intensive. Now with these smart sensors, we can get real-time data about how Portlanders are using our streets."