CITY OF ST. PETERSBURG USES SMATS INODE™ CROWDSOURCED TRAFFIC DATA ANALYTICS FOR THEIR COMPLETE STREETS POLICY DATA NEEDS

Case Study

Details

Company Name: City of St. Petersburg
Date: Jan 2018
Website: https://www.stpete.org/

St. Petersburg is a city on Florida’s gulf coast, part of the Tampa Bay area. It’s known for its pleasant weather (hence its “Sunshine City” nickname), making it popular for golfing, boating, fishing, and beachgoing. Its waterfront parks host the Dali Museum, featuring surrealist works of art; the Museum of Fine Arts, with works ranging from ancient to contemporary; and Mahaffey Theater, home of the Florida Orchestra

Challenges

Under the Complete Streets Implementation Plan, adopted in May 2019, the City of St. Petersburg developed a series of additional performance metrics to measure the transportation system’s performance in accordance with the Complete Streets policy. The added measures help implementing modifications to the City transportation systems that are more balanced among different roadway user types. For the City of St. Petersburg; however, collecting and analyzing the required data for decision making was difficult as the Department’s staffing level has not grown, even with the increased work associated with the Complete Streets data collection project.

For studying travel time and travel time reliability along certain corridors across St. Petersburg, staff would have been required to drive the corridors to perform these studies. It often required two staff members, with one person driving safely while the other person recorded the drive times.  Other Staff would then review and analyze the data. It was a staff-intensive process that was subject to human error, with a perception of the potential for bias. For these reasons, the City decided to find an easy way to automate data collection for certain traffic metrics in order to preserve staff time for data collection and analysis of all the collected data.

Solution

SMATS Traffic Solutions’ data analytics platform, iNode™, with integrated crowdsourced traffic data, has provided the City of St. Petersburg with an easy way to study travel time on almost every road and highway in the City. This allows the City of St. Petersburg to monitor and capture on-demand travel time data for any road segment in the City for any time and date.

“The SMATS iNode™ platform has provided the City with a way to automate travel time studies, which helps to preserve staff time and advances the City towards its transportation goals. SMATS staff was readily available by phone or e-mail to accommodate and correct our problems.”

Michael J. Frederick

Neighborhood Transportation Manager, City of St. Petersburg

City of St. Petersburg Transportation & Parking Management

The City of St. Petersburg’s Transportation and Parking Management Department maintains and improves the transportation system for the safe and efficient movement of people, goods, and services. Under the City’s Complete Streets policy, the clear focus is on consideration for all roadway users and their safety, including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders, in order to enhance the quality of life for all their citizens and visitors.

Why SMATS?

The SMATS iNode™ platform has provided the City
with a way to automate travel time studies, which
helps to preserve staff time and attention for analysis
and other work that advances the City towards its
transportation goals. Using the iNode™ platform lets
the City schedule studies that are more anonymized,
cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and
representative of motorist behavior. The
visualizations have also provided value, showing the
data in an understandable way to both technical and
non-technical audiences. The graphs help display
the data as well as simply relay the numbers for
quantitate analysis.

Dashboard view of iNode™ with the city’s data collection links set up

Travel time chart for a sample link for 24 hours

The Results

The City of St. Petersburg officials use the iNode™ application to monitor traffic flow and congestion levels of various highways and roads across the City. Using the platform, the City has established over 60 links studying travel time and travel time reliability along specific corridors. The dashboard map on iNode™ enables the City not only to have an overall view of the links and their locations, but also to monitor and measure the level of congestion for different links. Each link on the map displays a color (dark red, red, yellow, green), which illustrates the range of speed for that link. iNode™ ’s visualization and comparison features make the travel time studies easier for the City. Also, the exported charts and CSV files of the data are used for further processing and preparing custom reports.

Using SMATS iNode™ application, the City of St. Petersburg can use the data for various use cases such as:

  • Lane re-allocation projects
  • Traffic signal timing changes
  • Adding or adjusting:
    • Bicycle lanes
    • Detour routes
    • BRT / Transit routes
    • On-street parking
  • Special Events traffic management
  • Evaluation of other traffic operations concerns

     

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