Recently, we had the opportunity to ask the Franklin Traffic Operations Center or “TOC” about their operations and how they attack traffic problems in Franklin. One of the biggest surprises is that only two people run the Franklin TOC: Abby Gambill is the TOC Operator and Gupta Borra, Traffic and Transportation Engineer.
The TOC became operational on April 26, 2002. The TOC is a way of monitoring some of Franklin’s traffic in real- time conditions, notify the public of situations, and make adjustments to some of the traffic lights without having to leave the office. The hope for the TOC is to eventually get all of the traffic signals connected to their central software and video cameras to view most major intersections. “We want to make driving in Franklin as smooth as possible.”
One of the major problems we face is that we have two people to run the whole center. We are only here about 9 hours of the day and that is if we do not have something that needs our attention out of the office. I wish we had more time to watch and see every incident that occurs, but at this time it is just not possible.–Franklin TOC
Williamson Source asked about how difficult the task of synchronizing traffic signals is:
“We try to synchronize or put traffic signals into coordination to help reduce emissions, fuel consumption and reduce the amount of stops through a corridor. Coordinated signals are usually on a corridor of roadway that has several signals spaced closely together and have a significant amount of traffic flow. At this time we have roughly 9 corridors of coordinated signals. These coordinated signals will change timing several times during the day to accommodate the shift in traffic patterns. We monitor these corridors through our video cameras out in the field and our central software. The central software we use keeps signals running at the same time and timing plan. We currently have 27 cameras around the city to help us keep an eye on the situations. We do try to monitor it on a daily basis to keep things running as smoothly as possible.
It’s a wonder how two people can be juggling so much in a constantly changing and growing city. So, I gave them the opportunity to let the residents of Franklin know how hard they are trying to keep the roads flowing smoothly:
“We do want people to know that we are not here all the time. We wish we were able to monitor it through all of the peak times, but it is just not possible every day. We are constantly gathering counts around the City to try to get all of the lights re-timed to the optimal level. Some of the corridors in the city are at capacity, we will continue to adjust the lights, but sometimes the level of saturation is too high no matter what timing we put in the signals. We welcome the public to let us know if there are problems and we will try to remedy them if we are able.”
Franklin TOC loves visitors and invites the public to stop by and say hello and see them at work. For more info click here.
Our thanks to Franklin TOC and Milissa Rierson for taking the time to answer questions.More Special Report: Williamson County Traffic