For those out there who don’t know, traffic management is a field of study and expertise that includes a number of civil engineering disciplines. It is concerned with designing transportation systems, in order to create safer, efficient, and more cost-effective systems for the planet.
Traffic management has traditionally administered things like bridges, roads, bypasses and even railways, as well as traffic lights, signs, and other kinds of signals. Modern traffic management in Perth, also makes good use of more advanced technologies, such as traffic sensors, dynamic signage, and computers to manage traffic patterns as a way to relieve traffic congestion.
The Long History of Traffic Management
The history of traffic management can be tracked back thousands of years, to the great roads of some of the old empires, such as Rome. Their early roads were constructed to last under the constant advancement of humans, wagons and horses, and were commonly designed to last for hundreds of years.
Such things as traffic flows were none existent until much later on, when urban centres became densely populated and experienced bottlenecks and dangerous traffic patterns, and this in the age of horse-drawn carriages! Wide streets were developed to try to counter this problem, and also in response to the use of narrow streets as barricades during many of the great European revolutions of the 18th – 19th century.
Into the 20th Century
Between the early-and mid-20th century, with the growing popularity of the car, traffic management became an important discipline. In Australia, traffic management saw an enormous boom during the 1950s. As traffic increased in Australia and abroad, particularly in urban areas, it was necessary for new areas of study in traffic management to be opened up and looked into.
Limited space within some older cities for roads made them particularly affected by bottlenecking, as they couldn’t just be continuously widened, as became the norm for the national highway system in the more rural and suburban areas. Managing traffic flows became a big project, as traffic management did their best to simulate and model traffic to predict where traffic lights ought to be installed, how they should be properly timed, and how some major roads could be shifted to increase transport efficiency.
Technology to the Rescue
Modern communications and sensor equipment helped to provide a huge helping hand to traffic management, by handing it more informational means to simulate traffic flows in real time. One particularly advanced system in the US that was adopted earlier was the NAVIGATOR, or Advanced Transportation Management System. It was originally created in Atlanta in the run up to the 1996 Olympic Games, in an attempt to lessen the negative impact of an additional two-million visitors to Atlanta’s already bursting-at-the-seams traffic grid.
This same system is now in use in Australia and many other countries and has certainly helped to make a reduction in a whole range of traffic or traffic related problems. Drive safely!