The University of Idaho (UI) and the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) have cooperated on several research projects during the past eight years involving the use of various data collection systems, including video-based traffic detection systems. The University has two video data collection units consisting of four cameras, supporting electronics, two portable and telescoping Clark masts, as well as an advanced Machine Vision Laboratory with four Autoscope video detection work stations, one Peek Video Trak video system, and one Odetics Vantage video system. Two signalized intersections in the City of Moscow are now instrumented for video traffic detection, providing the UI and ITD with a field laboratory to test various traffic signal control and video detection alternatives.
While video traffic detection and measurement is not appropriate for all situations, it can provide an alternative to and improvement over standard data collection methods in three situations:
- When video detection is more cost effective than standard methods,
- When video detection can provide more data than standard methods, and
- When video detection is the only option and standard methods cannot be used.
The purpose of this project is to determine if a video detection system can be used at a data collection site in which standard methods (loop detectors) cannot be used. Initial testing has been completed at a site in Lewiston, Idaho, at the east end of the Interstate Bridge. A video detection system, cameras, and a modem linkage have been installed at the site.