The City of Chicago is among the largest cities in the United States. The metropolitan area has a population of about 8,000,000, with Chicago proper consisting of approximately 3,000,000. Given this size, it is no surprise that the city sought out smart solutions to help manage traffic, permits, emergency response and more.
In 2015, our team was selected by the City of Chicago to support their Smart City Initiative through the Chicago Smart Mobility Project.
Tapping Parsons’ expertise in intelligent transportation systems, Chicago tasked us with program management; operations, communications, and technology assessments; systems integration; and design and deployment of a Citywide Smart Mobility solution, optimized to address congestion and safety objectives, as well as environmental and regional transportation objectives.
Today, the Chicago Smart Mobility Project is in the process of implementing our proprietary software to turn legacy systems and processes into smart city solutions leveraging the latest technologies, improving efficiencies and eliminating silos between agency departments. When complete, the platform will bring together numerous city systems, including traffic signals, 911 Emergency Communications Center, 311 City Services, bridge lifts, and detour layouts.
Benefits are anticipated as the rollout continues, including improved efficiency in retiming traffic signals.
Research shows that cities with accurately timed signals can reduce congestion levels by up to 40%, but traditional manual retiming projects are time-consuming and expensive.
Using technology instead of personnel to gather and evaluate the data enables much more frequent retiming – and thus more frequent congestion reduction – at a fraction of the cost.
In all, the project will link 22 systems and seven device types, resulting in a fully integrated, state-of-the-art advanced traffic management system and operational integration platform.