This is the third blog in a discussion of ways to make 30a more efficient. Traffic slowdowns are predictable during tourism season. Last year we had over 4 million visitors in Walton County. With no options for public transportation the only choice is driving, for residents and visitors alike. But even on the days when our visitor population is high, the traffic jams are intermittent and not sustained. What if you knew that delaying your departure time could save you an hour in traffic? I believe that for most of us, we have some flexibility in our travel times. And real time traffic monitoring can help take the stress and hassle out of your journey.
Real time traffic monitoring is information that is shared with commuters about the current travel times on their selected route. This information can come from static sources, such as sensors in or near the roadway. Or from live traffic cameras. Or from commuters themselves in the form of shared data from wireless devices.
Some of the traffic monitoring devices are expensive and require road construction to place sensors beneath the travel lanes. But many options are low cost and easy to use. And by deploying multiple devices you can achieve very reliable data to share with commuters. This might mean changing your departure time or even choosing an alternate route when available.
Also, there is a wireless communication app available right now that uses shared data from nearby phones. The program is called Waze and it's free. The reliability is higher with more users on line, but the shared data can be extremely helpful. The app allows you to alert other drivers to hazards such as potholes, debris on the road, road construction or wildlife near the roadway.
As we strive to maximize the efficiency of our roads, especially 30a, I will work to see real time traffic monitoring devices installed and utilized. A central traffic monitoring "station" could also include public transportation information and updates. These simple and low cost devices could positively impact our quality of life here in Walton County.
If you agree with me that we need Leadership that is forward-thinking and works to find innovative solutions to our problems instead of kicking them down the road, please sign up on this page to volunteer with my Campaign!