In the late 1990s, Monroe County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) initiated a project to integrate ITS technologies into its traffic management infrastructure to improve traffic operations throughout the city of Rochester, NY and along the County's arterial roadways. As a result of that effort, the regional traffic operations center (RTOC) opened in 2002. The RTOC is a joint transportation facility financed by the Monroe County Department of Aviation (MCDA), MCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Until recently, MCDOT lacked real-time visual traffic surveillance capability at that facility. To address this need, MCDOT undertook the ITS Camera Deployment and Systems Integration Project. During the first phase, five closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras were deployed. Installation began in September 2004, with construction and acceptance testing completed in February 2005. In 2006, MCDOT completed an evaluation of these initial installations.
An evaluation plan was developed to identify the impact, if any, the monitoring capability established by the installation of CCTV cameras has had on the management of intersection traffic and to identify the benefits and/or costs, monetary and functional, experienced as a result of the system integration plan. Performance measures were developed and a data collection plan was set in motion to gather the necessary information. The evaluation report contains a combination of qualitative and quantitative measures to assess the effectiveness and benefits derived from Monroe County’s initial CCTV deployment.
To review intangible benefits from the installation of CCTV cameras, the evaluation team interviewed RTOC operators to get their experiences after the incidents data collection period. The interview results showed that the operators believe CCTV cameras have improved their job performance, allowing them to improve the speed and quality of the service delivered to the public.
The following are the intangible benefits found from the interview:
- Improved operator performance via increased incident awareness and understanding of why an incident is occurring.
- Higher and more responsible quality of service made available to the traveling public because of real time visual information.
- Cross-coordination by offset and cycle observation of traffic signals.
- Improved ability to screen out false calls.