With the City of Surrey’s latest integration of its publicly available traffic-camera tool, residents can view up-to-the-minute status of 474 intersections in the city.
The city has allowed public access to its traffic cameras since 2011, but the number of cameras and the tool used for sharing the images have changed over the years.
The latest version of the tool was launched late last year, and can be found at tinyurl.com/wosr8ov
“These cameras are a critical component of our Intelligent Transportation System allowing Surrey to proactively manage our transportation network through direct connectivity from our Traffic Management Centre to traffic signals throughout the city,” transportation manager Jaime Boan told Peace Arch News via email on Monday.
Boan said city engineers can respond to traffic conditions by making real-time changes to signal timing.
“The cameras also improve our efficiency by allowing us to remotely diagnose any reported issues, analyze the causes of collisions and better understand specific traffic behaviours/characteristics throughout the city.”
Not only can the tool be a valuable resource for commuters, but it has proved to be a useful investigative resource for both the RCMP and ICBC, he indicated.
“We have strict guidelines and practices with respect to this data sharing that has been approved through Privacy Impact Assessment,” Boan wrote.
The mapping tool highlights each traffic light camera in the city. By clicking the camera icon, residents can view a photograph of the intersection in real time.
Nearly every neighbourhood and major intersection is covered by a camera. The images appear to be updated every minute.
The map also incorporates a link to request video footage from the city. When the city discovers that its traffic cameras have recorded a collision, that video file is saved.
The cost for the city to search its records and process video requests, according to the city’s website, is $210 plus tax and administration fees.
Boan said the city’s transportation department is not aware of any other city, equal in size to Surrey, that has such an extensive camera system.
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