TAMU looking to improve campus traffic, parking problems

Published: Aug. 1, 2016 at 3:12 PM CDT
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From self-driving cars to sensors that show where parking spaces are available to apps that alleviate game day congestion, Texas A&M is working on becoming a "campus of tomorrow".

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute is sending out a call to companies worldwide.

Bob Brydia, a Senior Research Scientist at TTI, says "It says if you have a transportation technology, bring it here to Texas A&M."

It's mutually beneficial. The companies get a place to test and develop their products and the university gets to be on the forefront of new transportation advancements.

They've already had several dozen interested in coming on board. They bring with them a lot of ideas that range from making it easier to find a parking spot.

Peter Lange, Texas A&M's Executive Director of Transportation Services, says, "Sensors that give us parking data about usage and occupancy."

Another thing in the works would improve traffic flow on football game days.

Lange adds, "Maybe it's a smartphone app that gets you from Houston to where you're going to park to what bus you're going to ride. Helps you pay for parking. Gets you home after the game."

They're working on a way to get the word out about construction zones and which roads are temporarily closed, which will be helpful all the time, and especially on busy Saturdays.

Brydia says, "We run multiple traffic scenarios on Wellborn Road, so it'll report to mapping services. Anybody using those services would automatically know about the traffic conditions and flow."

The new technologies will be phased in over the next year or so. The biggest change you'll see first is at the corner of Ross and Bizzell.

Brydia says, "It'll feature advanced pavement markings for bicyclists that glow at night. So they absorb solar power during the day and then all night long them emit a soft glow to illuminate the bike path throughout the entire intersection."

It'll be the first of it's kind in the United States.