400+ Cameras Ready to Move Carmageddon II Traffic Along - NBC Southern California

Coverage of the Sept. 29 and 30 405 Freeway closure

400+ Cameras Ready to Move Carmageddon II Traffic Along



    Control Center Preppred to Handle Carmageddon II Traffic Overflow

    Bhuvan Bajaj says traffic signals in LA will be coordinated, re-timed and controlled to manage overflow created by Carmageddon II, when a portion of the 405 Freeway will be shut down for a full weekend. More than 400 cameras and computers will monitor traffic on the surface streets to help keep drivers moving. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News on Sept. 17, 2012. (Published Monday, Sept. 17, 2012)

    If Angelenos stay off the road when a 10-mile stretch of the nation’s busiest freeway is shut down, who will witness Carmageddon II?

    Hundreds of cameras at intersections across the city to monitor road conditions during the Sept. 29 weekend when part of the San Diego (405) near the Getty Center will be closed for construction.

    Bhuvan Bajaj is a transport engineer who is carefully monitoring traffic flow from one of 450 computers connected to the project.

    "Each green dot is an intersection. We can see traffic going in real time," Bajaj said.

    Dinner on the 405

    [LA] Dinner on the 405
    Two couples were looking for something to do during Carmageddon. When the freeway shut down, they climbed a hill and hopped some fences... and set the table for a most memorable photo op.
    (Published Tuesday, July 19, 2011)

    At LA’s Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control center, known as ATSAC, they’re gearing up for Carmageddon II with additional staffing.

    Complete Coverage: Your Carmageddon Survival Guide

    The state-of-the-art facility at City Hall east in Downtown LA is capable of monitoring and controlling some 4,500 traffic lights. So if cars being detoured off the 405 start to jam up on side streets, controllers can step in.

    Carmegeddon's Silver Lining May Be Green

    [LA] Carmegeddon's Silver Lining May Be Green
    Many Angelenos stayed off the roads during last summer's 405 Freeway shutdown and this time around, 300 businesses are joining forces with Metro to offer deep discounts to people who take public transportation that weekend. Angie Crouch reports from Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2012.
    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012)

    "We can coordinate signals, we can re-time traffic signals, we can add more time to left turns, or less time. We can do whatever we can to mitigate delays in the field," Bajaj said.

    The ATSAC system was built more than 30 years ago to handle traffic for the 1984 summer Olympics. Since then it’s quadrupled in size.

    Engineers are quick to point out that despite all the surveillance, none of the live cameras record video.

    "It’s not being used for any big brother purposes, there’s no license plates recognition technology, no embedded software, it’s strictly for traffic surveillance cameras," said Greg Savelli, chief of parking enforcement operations and traffic control.

    Two-hundred traffic officers also will be in place during the freeway closure but instead of being stationed at fixed locations like they were during last year’s Carmageddon, some will be mobile so they can clear the way if there’s an emergency.

    "All the emergency services, hospitals, ambulance, fire and police departments are pre-deployed in the areas knowing the transition is going to be difficult, so some of our officers will be in strike team formation if a problem arises," Savelli said.