The following Silver Barrel nomination was written by Corey Coulam, UDOT Traffic Operations Center Control Room Manager.
On the night of March 22 around 8:30, the control room received a message from Salt Lake County dispatch describing a report from a Utah Highway Patrol Trooper of a loud popping noise at 2100 South and 900 West. Operators, Scott Fugate, Tyler Rasband and Joseph Burns, took action to use a traffic camera to try to locate what the trooper had reported. They quickly identified the flames of a fire started by transients that threatened a structure.
The operators provided the live stream video feed to Salt Lake County UHP dispatch and gave them a detailed description of the incident and location. Dispatch then contacted the Fire Department with precise information and visual confirmation readily available. Because of these quick reactions, the Fire Department was able to respond quickly to this incident. The Fire Department is noted in a news article saying that these quick reactions and the availability of a camera feed prevented this from becoming a larger fire with the potential for serious infrastructure damage.
This was reported without exact confirmation and, at the time of the incident, there were no traffic impacts whatsoever however these operators relied on their experience and skills to help emergency responders. Scott Fugate, the shift supervisor and his familiarity (from almost 8 years of working in the control room) with UHP, dispatch, and situational awareness provided him the ability to realize that this had the potential to become a large scale incident. In addition, operator skills with control room software and camera use played a large role in helping them to locate this incident on a surface street location where camera coverage is poor. What makes this more impressive is the fact that the call came at night, when the difficulty of locating incidents by camera is significantly increased.
Members of the Traffic Operations Center receive their Silver Barrel award from Executive Director Carlos Braceras
Traveler Information Manager Lisa Miller receives a Silver Barrel award.
The beginning of Sgt. Johnson’s funeral procession on I-215.
On September 1, 2013, Utah lost Draper Police Sergeant Derek Johnson in the line of duty. This tragic loss brings grief and heartfelt sadness, but also patriotism, gratitude and remembrance from whole communities. Nearly 4000 law enforcement, family and citizens joined the memorial service at the Maverik Center and tens of thousands of thankful citizens lined the procession route.
UDOT’s Traffic Management Division collaborated with many law enforcement agencies to ensure that traffic flow to and from the Maverik Center and along the procession route moved as smoothly as possible. UDOT’s traffic signal operations staff were deployed to key intersections throughout the Salt Lake Valley to assist with traffic control, while UDOT’s Traveler Information Manager was using the @UDOTTraffic
Staff at the Traffic Operations Center monitored the procession route on cameras throughout the Salt Lake valley.
Twitter account to update the public on lane and ramp closures. UDOT was listening to the police radio event channels to monitor the traffic flow along the procession route.
Citizens lined up along 12300 South in Draper to honor Sergeant Johnson. Photo courtesy of Mark Taylor.
UDOT worked with the Unified Police Department, Unified Fire Department, Salt Lake City Police, Draper Police, the Utah Department of Emergency Management and the Utah Highway Patrol for traffic management during the funeral and procession. Several other agencies not mentioned here came together honor Sgt. Johnson – an awesome tribute to a dedicated public servant.
New tools gives users a custom fit!
UDOT Deputy director Carlos Braceras introduced the new site at the Engineering Conference Wednesday. Website users “don’t want a sales pitch,” says Braceras. They want information that’s cold, factual and timely. The new website give users “better tools for savvy consumers” who want quick, customized information.
Two Quick Links buttons, one in the upper left-hand corner and one on the bottom of the home page, allow users to choose which links appear each time the site is opened. The traffic camera views on the right side of the home page show the areas with the most congestion. By clicking on the “options” tool, users can sort camera views by traffic speed or zip code.
Building the new UDOT website started with asking customers what they want. Some asked for lots of traffic and a little weather. Some wanted calendaring information and project updates. Almost everybody requested traffic camera views that show where delay is occurring. With so much information available, and lots of users with different needs, a one-size-fits-all approach would have been UDOT’s old site dressed in pretty colors.
The new website is beautiful, but it’s the “guts” behind the site that make it work well. “We really are all things to all people,” says Programmer Monty King who, along with Programmer Amy Young, did to code work to make the site function. “My Quick Links allows you to prioritize pages. Basically, users can customize the homepage to fit individual needs.”
Try it out!
- Amy Young and Monty King get the credit for making the new site function as a customizable tool for getting traffic, weather and road construction information.