New tool makes tracking traffic incidents easier 

Traffic incidents will be easier to track in unincorporated San Mateo with the help of a new Geographic Information System made possible by a $30,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

The Crossroads Software collects and records collision data so the Department of Public Works can determine where the hot spots are, Road Operations Manager Diana Shu said.

“We are trying to see if there are any areas with high accident rates that we should be paying attention to,” Shu said. “It’s really helped us out so far in terms of analyzing traffic patterns.”

The software, installed in May, is linked with the county’s GIS so Public Works can map high-accident areas while also collecting detailed statistics. The department has been able to sort through incidents due to people driving too fast or under the influence in order to focus more on specific road issues that are leading to increased collisions.

“Once hot spots are located, Public Works can discuss possible traffic improvements for those areas, including different signage, extra striping or widening of roads,” Shu said.

According to Shu, part of the $30,000 grant went to training existing staff members to use the new GIS software, while the rest went to its purchase and installation. The traffic group within DPW primarily works with the new software, monitoring traffic issues and complaints, as well as road conditions such as traffic lighting issues.

While the purpose of the Crossroads Software is to find high-accident areas, the specific traffic information also helps the county’s Planning Department when putting together zoning and parking plans for particular neighborhoods, Shu said.

The California Office of Traffic Safety provided similar grants to several other counties for Traffic Collision Database Systems. Shu said the county has been very happy with its operation so far.

shaughey@sfexaminer.com

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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