CDOT approved to apply for $7.5 mil traffic congestion improvement grant

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Chattanooga Department of Transportation is one step closer to installing new traffic cameras downtown.

CDOT now has approval to apply for a $7.5 million grant. The money would go towards adding traffic cameras and sensors throughout downtown.

The cameras and sensors will collect data, which will then be used by CDOT to help with traffic congestion in the downtown area. The data collected is not identifiable; therefore, the new system will not be used for law enforcement.

Tuesday, city council approved CDOT’s proposal to apply for a traffic congestion and air quality improvement grant funded by the state. No local money would be used in that program.

If awarded, the city will accept $7.5 million to enhance downtown traffic conditions.

“We’re looking at introducing new technologies to help the city overall grow and utilize technolgies to help enhance our quality of life here,” CDOT’s Smart City Director Kevin Comstock said.

Those technologies include cameras at every major intersection in the designated downtown area. CDOT also wants to install sensors to count cars and distinguish what types of vehicles drive through downtown.

“If we know what types of vehicles we have, and we know how many of these vehicles we have, and if we can look at the air quality issues through those sensors, we can begin to project what air quality is going to look like,” Comstock said.

The new system would solely collect data — not monitor intersections for law enforcement.

“We already know that traffic’s a problem, so between those counts and the air quality information, we can try to maximize or optimize the system as much as possible by using that data,” Comstock said.

“I think that’s a good idea,” motorist Layne Kelley said. “As long as it helps, I agree with it. It will make me feel safer.”

CDOT’s plan installs cameras at 100 of the 337 traffic light intersections, just like this one.

The department should know by October if Chattanooga has won the grant money.

[pdf-embedder url=”https://wdef.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/VIIl-Congestion-Mitigation-and-Air-Quality-Improvement-grant-7.5-million.pdf” title=”VII(l) Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement grant $7.5 million”]

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