Students to use smartphones to monitor traffic Saturday

By Daily Illini Staff Report

More than 100 students will use their smartphones to count cars and record their movement this Saturday in order to document traffic around the Illinois-Indiana football game.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is conducting this test, lead by Assistant Professor Dan Work, to improve the flow of traffic during major events.

Students will monitor traffic by using Traffic Turk, a specially designed application made to improve traffic monitoring during extreme congestion events, said Work in a press release.

The 102 students who volunteered to monitor street corners this Saturday have received training on how to use the application, Work said.

When students approach the intersection they’ve been assigned to, a picture of the intersection shows up on their phone. Every time a car passes by, the student swipes their phone in the direction the car is going, Work said.

Traffic Turk is an improvement from turning movement counters, older devices used to monitor traffic, Work Said, because it does not cost anything to download Traffic Turk on a smartphone. This allows more people to use the device, which allows more data on traffic to be collected.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will be “providing recommendations to the police department based on the levels of congestions we see,” Work said.