Traffic Cameras Provide View of Local Conditions, from NEMA’s Transportation Management Systems Section

Traffic Cameras Provide View of Local Conditions, from NEMA’s Transportation Management Systems Section

By Jean Johnson, Technical Program Manager/NTCIP Project Manager, NEMA

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Winter Storm Jonas has affected millions from southern Virginia to the Northeast, leaving residents homebound as cities work to clear roads and recommence public transportation. For those of you teleworking today, here is a partial list of traffic cam websites for locations near NEMA offices and elsewhere in the Washington, D.C., area.

One NEMA product section (3TS, Transportation Management Systems and Associated Control Devices, part of the Connected Systems Division) covers intelligent transportation systems (ITS). ITS include traffic management centers that connect with, control, and monitor various field devices (such as traffic cameras, traffic lights, electronic signage, and environmental sensor systems—devices that may be attached to snow plows, for example—among others).

As you may know, NEMA is a subcontractor to AASHTO (American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials). AASHTO has a contract with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop interface standards for ITS systems (interface standards define how one part of the system connects to another, and this standards program is known as NTCIP). Traffic cameras, and other ITS elements, are often funded jointly by the DOT and state, county, or local resources (or some combination thereof).

Traffic cameras work even when the federal government is closed, and they show some sidewalks. The traffic camera images you see on TV are connected to traffic management centers in local or regional jurisdictions. The following are links to several of the local traffic camera systems.

To find others, search “traffic cam” and the jurisdiction. If you are considering leaving your home, you can view parts of your trip before departing. Remember that many local jurisdictions have recommended that you stay off the streets (either as a vehicle or a pedestrian) to allow those plowing or removing snow, or emergency personnel, to do their work. Stay safe!

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