Endura and Sarix Keep Traffic Flowing in Santa Clara County

Endura and Sarix KeepTraffic Flowing in Santa Clara County

The County of Santa Clara is the most populous county in Northern California and has more than 1.7 million residents, living in areas that include the technology hub known as Silicon Valley. As the home of thousands of high-tech companies including Apple, Google, and Hewlett-Packard, it is fitting that the eight county-operated limited access expressways and numerous smaller roadways are now monitored by a state-of-the-art Endura network video system with Sarix cameras.

With 62 miles of expressway and 643 miles of rural and urban roadway under its control, the County established a Traffic Operations Center (TOC) in 1999 to assist in real-time traffic management and incident response along these routes. It was originally designed and built around an analog-based video system and was managed by Pelco 9760 Matrix switches.

Budget challenges stunted the growth of the system for several years and left the County with few cameras and limited viewing capabilities. But as the County secured more grant money, it was able to expand its fiber optic backbone and add more cameras. By 2007 the fiber network was large enough to begin using fiber optic switches and IP traffic signal controllers to establish real-time traffic management.

That was also when TOC Operations Manager, Jeff Izquierdo, realized that components of the system were reaching the end of their usefulness and repair or replacement expense became a major concern. "I could see the TOC becoming a powerful tool in operating and maintaining our high volume expressways, assisting Traffic Engineering in traffic studies and implementing coordination plans, and providing a resource for Road Operations and Construction Operations in viewing real-time field conditions," he said. "But in its then current state it was not adequate."

The first step toward an updated TOC was to replace the rear projection monitors with eight 50-inch plasma monitors. Mr. Izquierdo then set out to find a new video management system that would meet their needs, anticipate expansion requirements, and allow for multiple video feeds to be viewed per monitor, recording on command, programmable viewing patterns, and the ability for other internal departments to access video.

Evolving from Analog to IP

After meeting with several companies, the County opted to work with the Pelco Manufacturer’s Representative, Warren Associates, who introduced them to the unparalleled image quality and system intelligence of the Endura Network Video Management system.

The County then began working with their local Pelco distributor, Graybar, where Russell Ost helped them identify and determine exactly what components would be necessary. This included the addition of 450 Sarix 2.1 megapixel cameras with intelligent analytics, which enables the County to count vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic. "The enhanced quality of HD video enables us to view important details that help us make better informed decisions and run the TOC more efficiently," Mr. Izquierdo said.

"Father always taught me to buy the best because you won’t have problems later, so I wanted a full IP Pelco solution that would allow us to do everything we wanted," Mr. Izquierdo said of his electrician father. In July 2010, County employees began replacing the existing coax cable for analog cameras at 113 intersections and installing 450 new Sarix cameras. This is expected to be completed by early 2011, as is the process of integrating the switches and firewall in the TOC equipment room.

Pelco Senior Network Systems Engineer, Darren Giacomini, is helping with the final portion of the project to ensure the Endura and LAN networks work seamlessly together and do not disturb other internal networks.

"We didn’t have to use consulting firms, which is typical for programs of this kind," Mr. Izquierdo said. "Without Warren Associates, Graybar, and Pelco, this project would not have been possible. So many people from these organizations dedicated themselves to help us build a new state-of-the-art traffic operations center."

By Heather Halsey, Marketing Communications Writer

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