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Transportation System Management

Read about how the City of Ottawa reduces road safety risks, delays and congestion, and harmful air emissions – among other things – through transportation system management.

Transportation System Management

The City of Ottawa aims to maximize the safety, efficiency, capacity and predictability of the existing road network for all users by:

  • Reducing road safety risks
  • Reducing delays and congestion
  • Reducing harmful air emissions and fuel consumption
  • Reducing traffic short-cutting through residential neighbourhoods
  • Reducing and eliminating bottlenecks
  • Enabling rapid response to traffic incidents

Transportation System Management measures currently include:

  • Traffic control tools such as signs, signals, pavement markings and regulations
  • Technologically advanced software and hardware
  • Signal timing, including special phasing for peak hours, weather conditions, special events and construction
  • Progression and synchronization between signals
  • Real time traffic control monitoring and camera surveillance
  • Special treatment for transit and emergency vehicles (fire trucks)
  • Incident management
  • Maintenance of existing system

Traffic Control Centre and Traffic map

The Traffic Control Centre operates from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday to Friday with an on-call team available 24 hours day, 7 days a week. Monitoring is extended into evening and weekend periods when incidents or special events in the City causing major disruptions to normal traffic patterns occur.

Traffic control operators continuously monitor the Traffic Control System. Operators are immediately able to adjust the traffic signal timing and phasing for a number of intersections. Problems detected by the system or reported by the public are either directly resolved by operators or immediately dispatched to maintenance crews. Reports are relayed to the media in order to inform the public of traffic conditions.

Traffic operators continuously monitor video images from traffic monitoring cameras. These cameras are located at the most critical intersections in the City of Ottawa. Currently, 70 intersections are equipped with traffic cameras with additional cameras installed on a continuous basis.

The operators can pan, tilt and zoom the traffic cameras from the Traffic Control Centre. They observe traffic conditions for all approach directions, adjacent intersections and corridors. Intersections are constantly monitored and signal timing is continually adjusted to alleviate congestion and reduce delays.

View the City’s Interactive Traffic Map