A new traffic center at Dunwoody City Hall allows traffic engineers to watch in real time the progress of motorists through the city’s busiest areas and adjust traffic signals as necessary to try to mediate back ups at intersections.

All with a few taps at a keyboard.

Public Works Director Michael Smith checks out timing on traffic signals in the city at the new traffic center. The left screen is accessed with a few keystrokes and allows the user to tweak timing on traffic signals for better mobility that are pictured on the screen to the right. (Dyana Bagby)

Public Works Director Michael Smith said a traffic engineer, who can also easily access the traffic center through a home laptop, is able to watch traffic patterns via cameras placed throughout Perimeter Center and also via the Georgia Department Transportation’s cameras placed on I-285.

If an accident happens on I-285 and traffic is pushed onto Cotillion Drive, the traffic engineer can also watch via cameras on how to time signals to ensure cars can move as smoothly as possible through Perimeter Center, Smith explained.

The red lights on the map show traffic signals at major intersections tied into the city’s traffic center while the gray shows where the city plans to install programming to tie those signals into the system, allowing for control from a centralized location. (Dyana Babgy)

If a significant traffic is backing up on Ashford-Dunwoody Road, for example, the engineer can key into the traffic center’s web system and tweak the timing of signals tied into the system to try to ease the backup.

The city has six different master time-of-day plans it uses.