Beyond If Beyond If

How This Growing Georgia City Tackled its Traffic in Real-Time

What if we showed you how Jacobs and the City of Johns Creek are improving the efficient and safe flow of goods, services and people by monitoring traffic flows and responding in real time?

Johns Creek contract traffic monitoring

The world’s population is growing by 1.10 percent per year. In fact, the global population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030. While rapid population growth can be good for the economy, it will also have a dramatic effect on infrastructure, especially when it comes to transportation.

In 2006, the City of Johns Creek, Georgia, was incorporated. After its inception, residents were surveyed on issues they wanted addressed, and traffic ranked first. Since then, Johns Creek has become the 10th largest city in Georgia with over 80,000 residents and has needed to invest in transportation infrastructure and solutions to accommodate the rapid population growth.

What if we showed you how Jacobs and the City of Johns Creek are accommodating this population increase and improving the efficient and safe flow of goods, services and people by monitoring traffic flows and responding in real time?

  • 80 K+

    residents and growing – creating need for infrastructure investments, especially for transportation

  • 72

    traffic signals throughout the city linked to one central point for traffic data – the Traffic Control Center – through fiberoptic communications

“Intelligent Transportation Systems require a higher level of maintenance and operational expertise to realize their potential benefits. The technology is awesome, but people make it work.”

Tom Udell

Jacobs Chief Traffic Engineer, Former Deputy Public Works Director with the City of Johns Creek

Creating a world-class traffic control center

Jacobs and the City of Johns Creek are in a public-private-partnership, with Jacobs providing a range of municipal services, including public works and community development.

Since the start of the partnership, the City of Johns Creek has invested in its transportation infrastructure, seeking to improve the condition of major roads and the flow of ever-increasing traffic. As a result, Johns Creek boasts one of the most advanced Traffic Control Centers in Georgia, providing real-time monitoring of traffic conditions and remote control of key signals across the city.

The City’s Traffic Control Center is the central point for all traffic data. It’s linked to 72 traffic signals throughout the city, all connected through fiberoptic communications. The signals allow traffic engineers in the Center to monitor the flow of traffic, speed and direction to indicate the traffic patterns being run, identify any potential issues and adjust as needed. With this data, traffic engineers can understand normal traffic patterns and determine the optimum cycle to keep traffic moving.

Utilizing skilled staff as a key differentiator

The technology present in the Johns Creek Traffic Control Center is above industry standards for the signal system of its size, but what truly sets the Center apart is the trained Jacobs staff who actively manage it.

Cities nationwide have the same technology installed, but do not use it. Why? Because the sensors and hardware require active maintenance. Many cities believe you can install the technology and it will run seamlessly, but in reality, things go wrong and you need knowledgeable staff who can ensure the system is reliable and running properly on a daily basis.

Johns Creek has skilled Jacobs staff who operate the Traffic Control Center to optimize traffic signal timing, improve traffic flow and ensure predictable travel times throughout the city. We’ve maximized the technology to take the traffic system from a signal monitoring program, to a signal active management program. Simply, the system wouldn’t run optimally without our team behind-the-technology.

The proactive maintenance has been key to making a positive impact on customer service. Staff are now able to address potential malfunctions or traffic issues malfunction before any complaints are received by residents.

Achieving award-winning outcomes

The Johns Creek Traffic Services Division is focused on getting the most out of the City’s roads and continues to work with vendors that will enable the next generation of signal control to communicate with connected vehicles.

This drive led to the Johns Creek Public Works Department being named the Agency of the Year for 2018 by the Georgia Section of the Institute of Transportation. The prestigious award recognizes an agency that has distinguishes itself through improvements in transportation and its commitment to the delivery of innovative and effective transportation solutions.

Interested in learning more about how Jacobs transforms intangible ideas into intelligent solutions for a more connected, sustainable world?

Explore innovation at Jacobs