To help manage congestion and prepare for the new era of tough traffic that will begin with the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) three-week closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct starting January 11, 2019, our Transportation Operations Center (TOC) is operating around the clock beginning October 10.
TOC = Real-time traffic information.
The TOC is where we gather real-time information to help manage traffic incidents and to update travelers, media, first responders, and partner agencies. At the TOC, the traffic team is expanding its operation from 6 AM – 10 PM to include overnight and on-call service for 24-hour on-duty operations.
Along with 24/7 operation, the TOC will also have:
- Enhanced traffic reporting with electronic messaging signs;
- Real-time construction and traffic data sharing with Google Maps, Waze, and TomTom;
- Real-time signal adjustments to increase traffic flow and decrease congestion;
- Ongoing coordination with WSDOT and other regional transportation agencies
Preparation for 2019-2024.
24/7 staffing of the TOC is one of many ways we’re not only working to manage congestion now, but to also prepare for WSDOT’s SR 99 closure that will begin on January 11, 2019, and for the Period of Maximum Constraint (POMC), the period of transition that Seattle will face over the next five years to meet the needs of our growing city.
Here are our five core strategies to manage congestion from 2019 – 2024:
- Transportation system monitoring and managing of real-time traffic operations.
- Managing construction projects in the public right-of-way.
- Reducing drive-alone trips downtown.
- Investing in transit to meet demand and expand access.
- Coordinated regional communications.
What is the TOC?
The TOC is the heart of our Intelligent Transportation System framework, where our operators monitor and manage:
- 200 traffic cameras installed across Seattle.
- 34 electronic messaging signs linked to the TOC.
- 1,100 traffic signals, including 6 corridors where signals respond to traffic volumes.
- Data from 12 Seattle corridors to update electronic signs.
- Travel time data posted online for the 12 corridors and entire downtown area.
- Congestion on an additional 10 corridors posted to the web.
- An estimated 25 incidents that affect traffic every day.
- 100 major events or road closures every month.
- Travelers web site; iPhone app; and @SDOTtraffic Twitter feed.
Why are 24/7 operations needed?
Between 2010 and 2017, 15.3 percent of crashes in the City of Seattle was between 10 PM and 6 AM and nearly 29 percent of all fatal and serious injury crashes were during overnight hours. In 2017, the TOC was activated 45 times for after-hour responses. Meeting that need cost the City 360 hours of overtime pay and 2,900 hours of standby pay.
Here’s how you can stay connected.
In coordination with our partner agencies, all traffic incident calls within the City of Seattle will be relayed to the TOC, keeping Seattle better connected. For questions regarding this transition, please contact 206.684.ROAD or email 684-ROAD@seattle.gov.
For real-time information during the Period of Maximum Constraint, follow:
- Twitter – SDOT News
- Twitter – SDOT Traffic
- Twitter – SDOT Bridges
- Facebook – SDOT News
- Breaking News Blogs – SDOT Blog
- Traffic Advisory Blogs – SDOT On the Move
For more information, follow:
- WSDOT Traffic – @WSDOT_Traffic
- King County Metro – @KCMetroBus
- Sound Transit – @SoundTransit
- Community Transit – @MyCommTrans
Thank you, Seattle! We’re in this together!