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Greenwood uses cell phone data for traffic study

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 19, 2015) –- City officials in Greenwood hired an engineering company to collect cell phone data from drivers for a downtown traffic study.

“We are trying to collect some information that will allow the city planners to make some decisions about what we can do to improve traffic flow in the downtown area," Greenwood City Engineer Mark Richards said.

The study will last about 30 days and will happen in the next two months, Richards said.

Traditional traffic studies provide planners with the amount of cars on a road any given day and help determine peak hours. Richards said he will use the cell phone data to find out more about where drivers are coming from and going to when they go through downtown.

“The origin and destination data is really important because it tells where we really need to be focusing our attention on the traffic improvements," he said.

City officials are considering makes some roads "one-way" to improve traffic.

Richards was not exactly sure how the engineering firm, A&F Engineering, will collect the cell phone data, but believes the technology is similar to how INDOT and Google Maps predict travel times.

The city will not have access to driver's private information, Richards said.

“I don’t foresee the city is even going to have access to that raw data," he said.

Greater Greenwood Chamber President and CEO Christian Maslowski said with recent growth downtown he believes its time the city plan for traffic demands in the future.

“It's been a little congested for a while and as our community and all of northern Johnson County grows... traffic is continuing to increase," Maslowski said.

The full report for the traffic study should be completed sometime next spring.

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