Smile, you’re on camera.
Luckily, these aren’t red-light cameras, but new traffic cameras – 38 in all, all over the city.
This month the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has made “real time” views from 38 new traffic cameras around the city available online as a way of making it easier to pinpoint congestion and collisions, as well as monitoring traffic and road conditions.
Warning: it’s not the easiest map to work, but if you play around with it, it can be useful. It’s very sensitive to the zoom in zoom out of the Mac touchpad!
In Fremont, the new cameras that show up on the online map are on N. 36th Street – one at Evanston Ave. N., and one at Fremont Ave. N. These neighborhoods had at least 6 new cameras: Ballard, SODO/Georgetown, Capitol Hill/Central District and Downtown.
Use it as a way to figure out which routes not to take – or which routes will get you from A to B fastest.
SDOT traffic engineers are using the information to identify locations where they can make changes to improve traffic flow.
There are also eight new electronic “Dynamic Message Signs” (“DMS”) now operating on major arterials, providing handy travel alerts to people already on the road.
It’s not the end of the camera craze. By the end of August, SDOT will add a few more cameras and six DMS signs. In addition, by the end of the year WSDOT will add six traffic cameras and six DMS signs that SDOT will own and operate, on State Route 99.
The views from the SDOT traffic cameras, as well as WSDOT cameras located within the city of Seattle, are available on the Travelers Map on SDOT’s website. The Travelers site also indicates the level of congestion on major arterial streets and Seattle area state highways, and provides information on special events and construction likely to have significant impacts on traffic. (Today, for instance, looks like it’ll be a heavy traffic day downtown with the Sounders FC and Mariners games.)
A total of 19.7 million visits were made to the Travelers website in 2009.