Tampa’s Path to Smart City Status

Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

The city’s downtown will be ready for connected vehicles by 2020, and an advanced traffic management system will cover the entire city by 2023.

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority is on pace to complete a $40 million upgrade to its traffic management system that will pave the way for connected vehicles in downtown Tampa by 2020.

Earlier this year, Tampa created its Smart Mobility Division to find a way to incorporate new technologies and use data better than its legacy systems, “powered by cutting-edge ‘80s technology,” would allow, said Vik Bihde, the smart mobility manager for Tampa.

Previously the chief traffic management engineer, Bihde oversees the city’s traffic signal system, deployment of intelligent transportation systems and streetlights, as well as event traffic management.

“We need to change our mindset as … government agencies in recognizing that our roadways have shifted from brick and mortar to electrical to data infrastructure,” Bihde told Route Fifty.

In May, the new Tampa Bay Smart Cities Alliance of public, private and academic stakeholders held its first workshop to identify regional priorities: an open data platform, mobility as a service and the advanced traffic management system.

A small mobility-as-a-service pilot will test an app allowing travelers to pay for trips using the various transportation modes available in Tampa, including the Downtowner shuttle, microtransit, water taxi, and ride hailing. Residents and visitors will be able to navigate the city easier, and there’s a payoff for the city too.

“We get great data about what people are doing, rather than what people say,” Bihde said.

Hillsborough County voters in November approved a one-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation improvements, with 57 percent in favor of the initiative. The resulting funds will be spent on fiber and broadband wireless connectivity with high-resolution controllers that transmit data 10 times per second—the standard for connected vehicle infrastructure. Connected vehicles, while not necessarily autonomous, communicate with the driver, other vehicles and roadside sensors to improve efficiency and safety.

Tampa will also add cameras at intersection to not only help city staff make decisions based on what they’re seeing but employ machine-learning, so the system itself can count cars and eventually manage autonomous vehicle activity around curbsides and loading zones. During special events, Bihde wants to shift from on-street parking to ride-hailing drop-offs and pickups.

New traffic signals and streetlights will be a “microcosm” of that broader effort, Bihde said.

Tampa Electric is embarking on a 5-year, LED streetlight upgrade program approved by the Public Services Commission earlier this year. A network logic controller monitors streetlight inventory, and additional sensors can be added to them to detect gunshots or monitor empty parking—30 percent of downtown congestion during special events being caused by drivers searching for spaces.

“Five years ago we’d only be thinking about how do we optimize our signal timing, how are we responding to calls,” Bihde said.

New traffic signals are being piloted at about 40 intersections downtown, about half of them.  While the connected vehicle project downtown, including performance and evaluation, will wrap in 2020, the advanced traffic management system won’t be deployed citywide until 2023.

Because Tampa is susceptible to climate change-related events, including hurricanes, the city is also exploring new ways to power its traffic lights.

Hurricane Irma was a floodless storm in Tampa, but the city still lost power for about a week—leading to economic losses and forcing police officers to do traffic control, when they were needed elsewhere after the disaster.

Solar panels that can be mounted on sidewalks are in their infancy, but if they can be developed to power signals with overnight backup and maintain surface friction for walking and biking, they could be a gamechanger, Bidhe said.

“We’re challenging the industry to come up with solutions,” he said.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

FEATURED CASE STUDIES
Powered By The Atlas
Improved Water Quality and More Field Time Due to a 97% Reduction in Office Admin Work
Marin County, CA, USA
Integrated city systems, unified data, & automation drive 316% increase in field efficiency
Seattle, WA, USA
Orlando Protects Citizens During Heavy Rain Events by Optimizing Water Data Intelligence
Orlando, FL, USA

NEXT STORY: San José Moves Forward with Scooter Geofencing Rule

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.