Cameras Mounted on Speed Limit Signs Used to Monitor Traffic Volume

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

Traffic affects all of us; and the data shows that the growth will be putting the squeeze on local roads. A local traffic planning organization is going the distance and using sophisticated technology to combat future gridlock.

There is no denying the Brazos Valley is growing at a high rate of speed -- leaving many drivers sitting in traffic.

"It’s pretty bad right now,” said Bryan resident Dub Vaughn.

Dub Vaughn is one of them.

“On the freeway since I've been here, there was nothing out here, and now it looks like Houston coming down through here,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn has been living in Bryan since 1981; and says lately traffic has been so bad in north Bryan; he makes it a point to leave the house early to avoid the headache at the intersection of Highway 6 and William Joel Bryan.

“I sit through that light, and then I have to sit through that light, but basically there are only two lights, but I have to sit through 3 lights,” Vaughn added.

He says the mornings are just the beginning of his battle.

“In the afternoon, between let's say 4:30 and 5:30 when everyone is getting out of Blinn College and coming this way, I mean it gets pretty bad,” he said.

In an effort to combat gridlock and future congestion the BCS Metropolitan Planning Organization is studying traffic volume across Highway 6 from Barron Road to 2818.

“The study is being conducted to identify and evaluate alternative treatments in SH6 corridor to improve intersection operations and determine a timeframe for developing projects to add travel lanes.,” said Brad McCaleb, Executive Director of the Bryan | College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization. “Twenty-seven cameras were used at 13 locations to collect 24 hour turning movement counts. Tube counters were placed on entrance & exit ramps as well as the main-lanes on the bypass.”

"The purpose of the study is to look at short medium and long-term fixes for the interchanges along Highway 6,” said Bart Benthul, Transportation Systems Analyst of the B|CS MPO. “Our traffic forecasts show that most of the interchanges in the study area will be failing, or gridlocked by 2035. With this study we are proactively attempting to avoid this situation.”

The data collection ended Thursday. It’s now being analyzed by a third party company.

“We will be holding public meetings in the near future to explain the study, share information and answer questions,” said McCaleb.

It's an effort to keep highway 6 from becoming one of the most congested corridors in the area and to ease the strains on any of the roads leading to and from Highway 6.

The members of the MPO who sign the MPO agreements are: Brazos County, the cities of Bryan and College Station, Texas A&M University, and the Texas Department of Transportation.


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