THE WOODLANDS- Since taking office, Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack has made reducing traffic congestion at a cost-effective level a top priority.
“South Montgomery County is growing at a rapid pace so developing innovative plans to reduce gridlock is a constant concern,” said Commissioner Noack. “Through the South County Mobility Study and the numerous cutting-edge advancements implemented by Northstar, our traffic operations team, we have been able to enhance mobility for all who travel through South Montgomery County.”
Montgomery County Northstar is a full-time transportation facility that monitors over 300 traffic cameras and maintains over 85 signalized intersections. Over the last 3 years, Northstar has made great progress in transforming the existing antiquated software into an intelligent transportation network. These changes include new traffic signal timing, new traffic controller software, new central management software and Bluetooth technology to help staff monitor travel times for certain corridors.
Upgrades from the old camera vehicle detection hardware to a new radar detection software resulted in a significant improvement in travel time across major corridors. The new radar detection software minimizes previously experienced malfunctions such as intersections short cycling, vehicles being skipped, actuating an approach when no vehicle is there as well as other issues that cause an unnecessary delay. As of today, approximately 35 intersections have been replaced with the radar technology with others to follow by the end of 2016.
Results from studies performed during both the morning and afternoon peak traffic periods revealed up to a 30 percent reduction in travel time in some areas. To see the results, and the video travel time runs, visit mctraffic.org. The Precinct 3 team is also creating an interactive map where our staff and residents can view real-time travel data directly on their PC or mobile device which we hope to complete in 2017.
Currently, Precinct 3 is working on a new traffic response program for The Woodlands Town Center. This program will use new technology to deploy different coordination patterns throughout the town center. The goal of this project is to have traffic plans in place to respond to current and future traffic demands. It will help accommodate the increased demand from venues such as The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion and during the Christmas shopping season when traffic in the town center is at its peak. It will also serve as a model that could be implemented on other major corridors and areas throughout South Montgomery County. Parts of the new traffic response program will be in place for the holiday season of 2016 and will continue to be implemented throughout 2017.
Precinct 3 funds this new technology with the help of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Montgomery County has received over $250,000 for new traffic signal hardware and software from the Local Initiative Projects grant from TCEQ. These grants play a vital role in supplementing the current funding for the traffic signal network and allow for the County to focus its spending on other transportation enhancement projects. We have applied for an additional $170,320 for 2017.
“Our dedicated team of certified professionals remains committed to providing our taxpayers with innovative mobility enhancements,” said Commissioner Noack.
For real-time traffic updates follow Northstar on Twitter @mctxnorthstar.
For more information or with any questions, please contact Evan Besong at 281-367-3977