Sugar Land’s recent partnership with Waze, a Google company, to improve mobility via information sharing is the first collaboration of its kind in the Houston region.
Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. The data-sharing partnership will enhance information already available to drivers through a free, real-time crowdsourced traffic and navigation app.
“Designed as a free, two-way data share of publicly available traffic information, the Connected Citizens Program will promote greater efficiency, deeper insights and safer roads for our citizens,” said Director of Public Works Rob Valenzuela.
The partnership will provide Sugar Land traffic engineers with an unprecedented look at real-time road activity, enabling our state-of-the-art Traffic Management Center to harness real-time driver insights to improve congestion and make better-informed planning decisions.
Established as a two-way data share, Waze will provide Sugar Land’s ITS website with real-time, anonymous, Waze-generated incident and slow-down information directly from the source — drivers and passengers themselves. In exchange, Sugar Land will provide real-time construction, crash and road-closure data to Waze to return one of the most succinct, thorough views of current road conditions today.
Sugar Land’s partnership with Waze directly addresses a need identified by residents in its most recent Citizen Satisfaction Survey. While residents gave the city high marks for customer service, citizen communications and public safety, mobility continues to be an area of concern with an interest on improvement.
The partnership with Waze builds on past infrastructure and technology investments such as:
- continued improvements along major corridors like State Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 90A;
- an upgraded vehicle detection system that improves the reliability of older forms of detection and adds 24/7 traffic data collection capabilities across Sugar Land’s busiest roadways to improve operations;
- the expansion of adaptive signal control;
- enhancements to the city’s state-of-the-art Traffic Management Center; and
- upgrades to a real-time website at http://its.sugarlandtx.gov/traffic.
In a continuing effort to keep ahead of mobility needs, Sugar Land takes a comprehensive and proactive approach to traffic management. In 2017, the city received two awards from the American Public Works Association and ITS Texas for innovative use of technology. Sugar Land’s partnership with Waze is yet another effort to ensure the city meets the mobility needs of its residents.
Sugar Land’s recent mobility projects build on past efforts and provide a foundation for future traffic initiatives identified in Sugar Land’s Intelligent Transportation System Operations Plan (ITS Plan).
Sugar Land updates the ITS Plan every four to five years to identify opportunities to improve mobility. Since the inception of the capital program, completed projects have included improved traffic signal detection, added essential traffic data gathering capabilities, upgraded school beacon system, improved ITS website at www.sugarlandtx.gov/its to help motorists with travel information, signal timing optimization of major corridors within the city, upgraded traffic controllers with latest hardware/software and implemented adaptive signal control on State Highway 6.
“All of these projects have brought benefits such as improved travel times on major corridors, real-time/historic traffic data which assists staff in making operation decisions, better sharing of traffic information to motorists and a more reliable/self-reporting school beacon system,” explained Valenzuela.
For more, visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/1131/Traffic-Management-Systems. To find out more about Connected Citizens visit http://waze.com/ccp. To download the free Waze app for iOS or Android, visit http://www.waze.com/get.
This is a News Release from the City of Sugar Land.