The New York Times has released a report that shows Google has purchased Austin traffic cones for use on its traffic cameras.According to The Times, the Austin traffic camera system has been in use for the past six months.Google says that its goal is to increase traffic safety.Austin traffic safety advocates say that the cameras have increased safety."The Austin traffic system was built on a found...
California is going to need new, smarter and cheaper cameras in the near future, as the state looks to make up for lost revenue from the $5.5 billion cost of installing and maintaining its aging, aging fleet of vehicles.
A new study by Caltrans and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, which was released Monday, recommends that new cameras should be installed by 2020 and the vehicles should be upgraded by 2021.
The study, released at a press conference at Caltrans headquarters, said the state will have to replace an estimated 20,000 miles of aging traffic cameras by 2021, but that the agency could install 2,500 new cameras by 2022 and 5,500 by 2023.
The new cameras will need to be mounted at the rear of each vehicle, but they could be installed anywhere along the vehicle, according to the report.
The study estimates that the cost of replacing the cameras will range from $2,800 to $7,000, depending on how many are installed.
The agency estimated that a typical traffic camera costs about $250,000 to install, but said it could cost between $400,000 and $800,000 depending on the type of camera, how many sensors are installed and how many cameras are mounted.
The Caltrans study also said that while it will cost Caltrans about $1.7 billion over the next 10 years to replace the cameras, the agency has identified a “safe” cost of $2.3 billion, which will be funded by the state and its Highway and Transportation Department.
It is also possible that the Caltrans report will be revised, as it is being done on the basis of “a very limited number of vehicles and the limited number that are currently in operation,” said Caltrans spokesman Kevin Pascarella.
The Department of Public Works is responsible for building the vehicles, Pascaria said, but Caltrans is the one who is funding the maintenance and upgrades.
Caltrans has been running the vehicles since 2006.
Caltrans has identified more than 4,200 traffic cameras in operation across the state.
Caltrain, which runs commuter rail, buses and trains, and is expected to retire the vehicles in 2021, said Caltrain spokeswoman Jennifer Kapp said.
Caltrain has been considering retiring the aging vehicles for years.
“We’re working to keep the number of cameras going down to a minimum, and the cost will be based on the cost and the amount of maintenance needed to do so,” Kapp added.
The transportation agency also is evaluating the cost-effectiveness of installing traffic cameras.