opportunities -- the affordable housing trust fund is fully funded for the first time in the city's history. Also, the city has a variety of business development incentive programs for certain qualified businesses, such as Industrial Development Bonds.
What are the city's foremost public safety challenges? How can technology help address them?
Villaraigosa: Los Angeles has fewer police officers per capita than most large cities in the nation. My top priority in the coming years is to identify the resources and qualified candidates necessary to expand the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
I believe that technology can assist us in making the limited police officers we have more efficient. For example, using technology to keep officers on the street rather than in the station doing paperwork allows us to maximize our existing personnel.
The use of digital video cameras has also allowed us to derive greater benefit from our existing officers in Los Angeles. This technology has already been used successfully in MacArthur Park and Hollywood to help deter crime and increase prosecution rates. We are now expanding the use of cameras to housing projects, such as Jordan Downs, and to commercial areas in downtown.
The city is also exploring other technologies to assist our first responders -- the Fire Department is looking to implement GPS devices to track equipment and vehicles to ensure we always deploy the closest units to minimize response times. We are working with the Police Department to upgrade their mobile data terminals to provide officers with access to additional databases that assist them in investigations and communications.
Technology has been valuable in our homeland security efforts. Through Operation Archangel, the LAPD built a database that's cataloging all the details --blueprints, contact info, evacuation plans, etc. -- for each of the city's critical assets. First responders will then have access to this information in the event of an emergency.
As Sept. 11 demonstrated, radio interoperability is another crucial area where technology can be of great assistance. The entire Los Angeles region is currently participating in a study to determine how we can best unify our multiple radio systems, and we'll undoubtedly rely on the assistance of several technology companies to make this goal a reality.
How will the city use technology and technology-related policies to ease traffic congestion?
Villaraigosa: Los Angeles is among the world's leaders in reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and providing better transit service through advanced technology systems.
The core technology developed and deployed by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) is the Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control (ATSAC) system. Under ATSAC, traffic conditions on city streets are monitored remotely from a central command center by city staff, and are tracked by loop detectors buried under city streets.
The first generation ATSAC system enables traffic engineers to optimize traffic flow and capacity on city streets by synchronizing traffic signals. In addition, engineers can manually and remotely change signal timing based on traffic conditions observed via camera. First-generation ATSAC increases street capacity by 12 percent.
The second-generation Adaptive Traffic Control System (ATCS) increases capacity on city streets by an additional 3 percent, for a total increase of 15 percent. The ATCS automatically changes signal timing as traffic conditions change by time of day, weather or accidents.
In addition, the LADOT partners with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) -- the county's largest transit operator -- to operate the MTA's Rapid Bus program, as well as the new Orange Line busway service. Using the city's ATSAC infrastructure, MTA buses are tracked geographically on city streets.
Buses approaching city intersections are given either extra green time to allow them to pass through without stopping, or red lights are cycled more quickly to