Following Hurricane Irma in 2017, damaged traffic signals were a major issue. Many intersections were without proper traffic controls, confusing drivers and sometimes resulting in crashes.
Traffic signal damage includes nonworking signals due to power outages, broken signal heads, damaged signal structures, and missing signs. Palm Beach County's Information Systems Services GIS and Traffic Engineering staff recognized the potential of a mobile application system for post-hurricane damage assessment. The team built a mobile application to collect traffic signal status information in the field after a disaster. This will improve the accuracy and speed of damage assessment reporting.
The user interface is designed to reduce data collection errors and allows field crews to upload pictures linked to individual signals. The app enables staff to use the device's GPS to acquire the current location and collect data when cell phone service and WiFi are not available. The data collected is integrated within the Enterprise GIS and available for adhoc mapping, reporting and analysis.
Real-time, updated traffic signal status is available at the Emergency Operations Center on a dashboard published to the internet. The interactive dashboard was designed to show the progress of field crew assessing damage and the condition and power status of traffic signals post-hurricane.