The road to improved traffic data management
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) is responsible for managing all bridges, tunnels, airports, transit, and ports in New York City and Northern New Jersey. The PANYNJ’s Traffic Engineering Department is responsible for the performance, maintenance, and safety of the roadways within all agency facilities.
Many aspects of their engineering analysis rely on traffic-related survey data collected in the field, such as volume information at a roadway location or turning movements at an intersection. This data is often collected by several external consultants and typically delivered in a variety of different formats. In order to retrieve data, an engineer must perform a time-consuming search that involves sifting through a mix of PDF reports, Excel files, and binders to locate the relevant information. The Microdesk Application Development team was called upon to develop and implement a web portal and supporting data archive to better manage and provide ready access to this large amount of data.
Microdesk collaborated with the Traffic Engineering Department and consultant stakeholders to define a system to categorize traffic count data sets; associate standardized GIS point locations, and store the data in a normalized database structure. An ASP.NET portal application was developed to provide user-friendly interfaces for efficiently performing searches on metadata, viewing data in a standardized format, and extracting data to Excel. SQL Server Reporting Services was integrated into the web portal to provide seamless access to a flexible reporting engine that can be maintained and expanded by end users without requiring additional software development. A web-based mapping interface was integrated to allow users to find datasets through geographic searches using filters and spatial operators.
Using the application, the Traffic Engineering Department is able to rapidly respond to requests for data by accessing a single system that shows them what data sets are available as well as when and where the data was collected. The reporting engine allows standard and custom reports to be developed that can be shared throughout the system, significantly reducing the amount of time spent copying and pasting data into ad hoc Excel reports.