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View Diary: Traffic Cameras: Don't watch me, bro! (97 comments)

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  •  Yeah, no. (7+ / 0-)

    The traffic/transportation engineers and planners don't care about HQ video, so I don't think we'll be blowing the money on the fancy new toys.

    "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

    by Hayate Yagami on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 11:53:23 AM PST

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    •  In my experience in the ITS field .. (6+ / 0-)

      ..I saw a lot of political, law enforcement and Homeland security interest in these systems. Even though they were intentionally designed to be low resolution to avoid the temptation for these agencies to commandeer the system when it suits them,  there are the beginnings of non-traffic related usage 'abuse' in some instances.

      In Tennessee, the engineers in charge of the system had to answer and report to the Governor's Public Relations group regarding non-emergency messages displayed on the freeway message boards. The politicians see it as a feel-good, warm and fuzzy political device that somehow promotes the feeling that Governor Bredesen/Haslem was on the job and keeping everyone safe and comfy. However, it can be argued that the constant messages regarding this years fatality statistics compared to last years, or "It's Boat Safety Week', etc. is a distraction and lessens the impact of an urgent advisory when critical information is actually needed to alert motorists to extreme safety issues on the roadway ahead.

      Let the Engineers run the system.

      Tennessee does not video tape its camera feed except in rare and unusual circumstances. If they did, the management would be in court on a permanent basis to testify in the weekly fender bender lawsuit. However, when the DC sniper was at large a few years ago, my friends in Maryland told me the FBI brought in a server to the Maryland Traffic Management HQ to hook up and record and save every second of every camera view. In this case, most people might feel this was a justifiable reason. They removed the server once arrests were made.

      We often dealt with agencies in charge of protecting the nations security. The infrastructure consisting of not only the cameras, but all of the thousands of structures and poles along the roadside connected by fiber optic cable, is seen as an opportunity by these agencies to co-opt and install their own devices for purposes other than traffic safety. Cable has been run to a Fusion Center for purposes yet unknown, and suggestions were made about installing 'sniffers' to detect the transport of radioactive materials being transported along the highways.

      I suspect this multi-billion infrastructure we are building to move traffic will be hijacked by other interests and modified to some extent to accomplish their particular set of goals. Let's not pretend otherwise.

      Isn't it discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit? (Noel Coward)

      by Mid10Dem on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 02:50:15 PM PST

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      •  A historical footnote... (0+ / 0-)
        I suspect this multi-billion infrastructure we are building to move traffic will be hijacked by other interests and modified to some extent to accomplish their particular set of goals. Let's not pretend otherwise.
        You might find the origins of Sprint (the wireless carrier) interesting.

        Hint: It was originally SPRINT (an acronym), and "SPR" was Southern Pacific Railway.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 07:07:19 AM PST

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