Sugar Land uses Waze app to give residents a faster drive time

SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) -- Sugar Land is working to improve your commute using information from Waze and other high-tech information sources.

City engineer James Turner gave ABC13 Eyewitness News an inside look at how Sugar Land monitors traffic delays and changes the timing of traffic signals at the city's Traffic Management Center.

"If there's an incident where we see a lot of backup we can modify the signals to move in one direction or the other," Turner said.

The center uses more than 100 cameras, surface streets and information provided by residents on their phone or the Waze app.

Here's how it works:

When you're driving Sugar Land's busiest corridors, you may see a wreck. Enter the information into Waze, and in addition to sharing that information with other Waze users, an email notification is also sent to Sugar Land's traffic management.

"We're looking at trying to respond to any incidents as fast as we can using this technology," said Turner. "Our operators get those emails, and we can respond to (accidents) a lot quicker."

Turner also showed us the magnetometers the city is using to count vehicles and keep track of traffic flow. The pods are buried in the pavement, providing exact traffic counts.

"We're measuring that 24/7, 356, and that information is invaluable to us," he said.

To receive notifications from the city's Traffic Management Center, sign up on the website.

Want to see more from the heart of your community? Check out your town's stories through ABC13's HTX+ Facebook page.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.