Wash. Community Improves Responses With Opticom

Transportation personnel in Bellevue, Wash., have been empowered to improve emergency response without leaving their desks. The city is transitioning to an Opticom® Multimode Traffic Signal Priority control system, which includes Opticom® Central Management Software (CMS) enabling them to perform critical management tasks remotely and maximize resources without compromising the budget.

Opticom® CMS, a desktop-based traffic management software, is connected via Ethernet connections at the city’s intersections. Critical data is relayed from phase selectors at the intersections to traffic engineers at the centralized traffic management center.

“Our primary goal is to use signal preemption to reach those in need faster,” said Mike Whiteaker, Intelligent Transportation Systems Manager, Bellevue. “These new technologies allow us to do that more cost-effectively.” Bellevue fire and police crews were already using Opticom® Traffic Signal Priority control at each of the city’s 185 signalized intersections.

The deployment of Opticom® CMS has revolutionized traffic signal priority control behind the scenes too. As a result, emergency responders can be assured that signal preemption will work seamlessly when they need it most.

“We can find out exactly what’s happening with priority control at every intersection,” said Whiteaker. “We can check out activity logs and even identify specific vehicles using signal preemption. We can isolate any issues in real time and make smarter and faster maintenance decisions.” “Quite simply, we’re making fewer trips to the field, which means we’re spending less money on maintenance tasks,” said Whiteaker. “The transition to Opticom® CMS allows us maximize the use of our resources.”

Mutual Aid: Saving more lives The Opticom® Multimode System provides complete interoperability between Infrared (IR) and GPS priority control systems.

The transition to Opticom® Multimode technology offers benefits far beyond the traffic management center. It promotes more effective mutual aid response for the entire region.

Response teams from neighboring communities can now receive green lights on the way to emergencies in Bellevue.

“We conduct extensive mutual aid operations with several agencies in the area, from Redmond right next to us to Mercer Island across the bridge” said Whiteaker. “Our new interoperable equipment ensures their response teams won’t be slowed when aiding our citizens.”

About Bellevue

The City of Bellevue was incorporated in 1953 and is the fifth largest city in Washington, with a population of more than 130,000. It is the high-tech and retail center of the Eastside, with more than 130,000 jobs and a skyline of gleaming high-rises.

The city spans more than 31 square miles between the shores of Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish; is strategically located at the intersection of three regional highways; and is surrounded by mountain views of the Cascades, Olympics, and Rainier. Bellevue works as a leader in the region to find solutions, to formulate and to carry out growth management policies that work for today’s problems, such as traffic congestion and urban sprawl, for the entire area.

About Global Traffic Technologies (GTT)

Global Traffic Technologies, LLC (GTT), formed in 2007 from 3M's pioneering Intelligent Transportation Systems business, is the manufacturer of Opticom® priority control systems and Canoga® traffic sensing systems.

These systems have provided safe and reliable traffic solutions to communities for over 45 years. GTT’s ongoing commitment to innovation continues to proactively deliver advanced transportation solutions to help emergency, transit and traffic personnel increase safety, minimize traffic congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while maximizing resource efficiency and performance.

Headquartered in St. Paul, MN, GTT is the market leader in traffic management systems, having an installed base of over 70,000 intersections in over 2,800 cities worldwide.