Newport Beach, Calif., to Install Smart Traffic Reader-Network

The network of 12 Bluetooth devices will give transportation officials a real-time look at traffic in the city.

by Louis Casiano Jr., The Orange County Register / October 26, 2017

(TNS) -- NEWPORT BEACH The city will start collecting real-time traffic data from Bluetooth technology in an effort to improve the flow of traffic in the city.

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, the City Council approved the purchase of the BlueTOAD system, which reads anonymous and unique “signatures” transmitted by devices with Bluetooth capabilities, such as cell phones and hands-free devices in vehicles.

The system’s $119,999 price tag includes 12 devices that will be placed at various intersections, including areas along the Balboa Peninsula, MacArthur Boulevard, Corona del Mar and Newport Coast Drive.

The information will give city traffic officials a real-time look at motorists’ routes and travel times to and from various points in the city, said David Webb, public works director for the city.

“We can use it to better adjust our traffic signals,” Webb said, adding that BlueTOAD will help with faster incident response and makes it easier to monitor traffic flow in congested areas.

No private information will be collected, Webb said.

The BlueTOAD system will give traffic engineers an idea of the least congested routes and how to better divert drivers to those roads, he said.

Corona del Mar and Mariners’ Mile experience the most traffic, Webb said, adding that Newport Coast Drive, which has three lanes in each direction, has very little traffic.

The California Department of Transportation already uses the system on Coast Highway, according to a staff report.

The system is expected to be in place by January, Webb said.

©2017 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.