Local City May Launch New Traffic App

Traffic App
Map in phone showing destinations | Image by Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock

The City of McKinney may launch a traffic signal information app for local drivers.

Vehicle technology company Traffic Technology Services proposed partnering with the municipality to launch its app Personal Signal Assistant in the city, according to Director of Engineering Gary Graham.

This application, according to the company, “provides predictive traffic signal data” to inform drivers about traffic signal operations and wait times.

Graham delivered a presentation on this application to McKinney City Council members during a March 21 work session.

His presentation explained that the application receives data from the City and can tell drivers how long to expect to wait at an intersection and recommend ideal travel speeds “to arrive at the next traffic signal on green to help reduce their number of stops along the roadway.”

“We’re already collecting this data, and it’s publicly owned data,” said McKinney City Manager Paul Grimes. “We’re trying to make it available to somebody who can do something better with it than we can because that’s not a core function of what we do.”

Automobile manufacturers such as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz have implemented this service into the dashboards of some newer models. Drivers without these vehicles can access this application through their mobile devices for a monthly subscription fee of $2-5.

Graham said this program would not only provide a service to local drivers, but it would also provide intersection performance data to the city.

“Performance metrics will help traffic engineers identify and quantify problem locations to improve traffic signal timing operations for all users,” his presentation reads. “Reports and services are provided at no cost to the City.”

According to Graham’s presentation, other North Texas cities, including Frisco, Plano, Arlington, Allen, and Grapevine, have already adopted this service.

“I don’t see a problem with the City of McKinney doing something like this,” said Council Member Rainey Rogers. “It doesn’t cost us anything, and whoever wants to subscribe to it can subscribe to it.”

Graham said this item would go before the council for a vote at a later date.

Graham also told council members that McKinney has about 104 traffic signals throughout the city.

“We have been working to modernize that equipment,” he said, explaining that some of these upgrades can alert City staff of equipment issues before they are reported by citizens so they can be addressed more promptly.

“We are trying to get those system alerts so we can respond and know of issues before we have to get notified by the residents,” Graham added.

The Dallas Express reached out to the City of McKinney for additional details on the traffic signal application program but had yet to receive a response by press time.

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1 Comment

  1. ThisGuyisTom

    With this McKinney app, I hope that people’s data is not harvested and resold to other parties like so many Applications.
    If the average individual really knew the incredibly thick profile which has been built on each person, they would be shocked.
    1984’s Big Brother is here.


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