Hennepin County | Traffic Monitoring Center

Hennepin County Continues Partnership with iSpace Environments to Outfit their Digital Display Walls at their Traffic Monitoring Center (TMC)

Hennepin County, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, monitors over 1200 traffic signals throughout the county and state. Ben Hao, Traffic Operations Engineer recently explained, “The two main goals of signal monitoring are to ensure that each intersection is operating in a safe manner and that traffic is moving as anticipated.” But to do so, Hennepin County needed massive improvement to the technology within the Traffic Control Center.

The improvements consisted of 8 PCs controlling a giant display wall, spanning 9.5’ high and 33.5’ wide, made of up of thirty-two 55” individual screens with 15,360 x 4,320 pixel resolution. The 32 screens can display one giant image or sectioned into quadrants of 16, 8, 4, 2 or single images to display traffic signals, event tracking data and web content at the same time. Six pre-programmed display layouts are available to select via the Crestron control panel–or a user can easily create a custom layout to display.

Wayne Lusthoff II, Technology Account Executive of iSpace Environments shared that the TMC is an extension of the Hennepin Emergency Operations Center (EOC) NVX network, completed in early 2020. At the point of that installation, it was one of the largest NVX systems deployed in Minnesota.

“The interconnected programming between these two centers resulted in a highly impactful system, and an even more impressive application than previous–with a total of 136 infrastructure endpoints,” Lusthoff explained.

From this control center, the traffic engineers and researchers can adjust the viewing angles of each intersection camera. In the future, the TCC will be able to record and save up to 3-5 days’ worth of data collected from monitored intersections and will be able to assist with traffic incidents, road issues & other emergency needs, with their partners at County Dispatch.

This control center will also be used to evaluate the timing plan for each intersection within their jurisdiction. Optimized for safety and volume, there are up to 7 different timing plans for each semaphore and freeway entrance ramp throughout the day. “With an event like COVID-19, where many people suddenly stopped driving, we were able to reset the timings of the signals to be more aligned with the lower traffic volume,” said Hao “and then we analyzed the timings to assure safety and mobility is efficient and optimized.”

Hennepin County
Medina, MN

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