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Smart-ish City

Monday, September 18, 2017 by Nina Hernandez

To many of us, the wacky world of traffic counters is understandably obscure. Well, no more! Last week, the Austin Transportation Department released something of a Traffic Counter 101 for our reading pleasure. It explains that the department uses a variety of devices to count not only the number of cars on the road but also the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists. That helps staff know where best to place things like pedestrian signals and crosswalks. The release also comes with the helpful reminder that sabotaging any of the street tube, Bluetooth or video counters is a crime. “In fact, intentionally damaging the expensive computer systems attached to traffic counters could be a felony offense,” it reads. “In addition to being a crime, damaging traffic counters can delay much-needed safety projects such as school zones or stop signs because more staff time is spent revisiting the same street.” Traffic counter vandals should be reported via 311.

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