Rapid Flow Blog

Surtrac's Deployment in Portland Discussed in Western Digital Article on Pedestrian Safety

Posted on March 21, 2019

Data Makes Possible, a blog from Western Digital, recently discussed Rapid Flow and Surtrac in an article highlighting technological advancements that are keeping pedestrians in urban environments safe. In particular, the article references Surtrac’s impact on traffic flow after deployment in Portland, Maine, and resulting decrease in pedestrian accidents.

The article notes how the city of Portland, Maine, saw more pedestrian casualties in 2017 than any other year in over two decades. A number of factors contributed to this rise, including traffic congestion, a 200-year-old street network, and a growing population.


With the city of Portland wanting to improve overall traffic flow and decrease pedestrian accidents, they relied on Surtrac intelligent traffic signal control to tackle the problem. Surtrac’s ability to create a real-time optimization plan and communicate with neighboring intersections has led to a 20% drop in delays and a 16% reduction in travel time after deployment at Morrill’s Corner (the busiest intersection in Maine). In turn, these improved traffic conditions helped to decrease the number of pedestrian accidents.

“You don’t usually see that level of improvement,” said Jeremiah Bartlett, Portland Transportation Systems Engineer. “I’ve been consulting cities for 20 years and I’ve never seen that myself.”

Currently, the Surtrac adaptive traffic signal control system is building towards using dynamic elements of the technology to support disabled pedestrians. In the future, a voice-activated tool could allow disabled pedestrians to communicate with the surrounding infrastructure to request more time to cross the street.

Access the full Western Digital article here: How Cities Are Using Smart Technology to Help Keep Pedestrians Safe

This entry was posted in News.
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