Street Intersection Cameras...Hmmmmm

samplenhold

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For thought and discussion:

So last night I was driving home from dinner and while stopped at a red light at FM2920 and Kuykendahl Rd, I counted eight bullet cameras on the poles each giving a specific view of the roads. Continue driving and at another intersection there is a big PTZ and another bullet. Further down the road the intersection has six bullets. Another intersection had 5 bullets. That's 21 cameras in 4 intersections. Just about every intersection along these main roads here in the Houston area have cameras.

TxDOT has a website that lists some of the cameras and you can view a recent snapshot. But of the 8 cameras at FM2920/Kuykendahl they only show 3 of them. What about the other 5?

Is someone monitoring these? Do they just take a snapshot or are they streaming 24/7? Are they storing all that data? If so, for how long? There must be 1000's of cameras in the area. I guess I would doubt they are streaming and storing. That would take a huge amount of storage.
 

J Sigmo

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Or set up to control automatic lights, taking the place of the old sensor coils buried in the pavement. They're cheaper in the long run, and you can use zone sensing, etc., and know how many cars are waiting so you can set the timing "on the fly", etc.

So some of the cameras may simply be for automatic control of the traffic lights.
 

YYZed

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Or set up to control automatic lights, taking the place of the old sensor coils buried in the pavement. They're cheaper in the long run, and you can use zone sensing, etc., and know how many cars are waiting so you can set the timing "on the fly", etc.

So some of the cameras may simply be for automatic control of the traffic lights.
This. They're for timing of the lights. https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-cameras-at-the-intersections-above-traffic-lights

If I'm thinking about what I've seen in California, then they are definitely not red light cameras. Those are mounted much lower and are usually well protected in some kind of box looking thing on a pole, and thankfully most are going the way of the Dodo due to legal problems and massive expenses.
 

TonyR

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@J Sigmo and @YYZed are most likely correct.
Jan. of this year I posted where I assisted with the installation of an Autoscope video vehicle detection system at a traffic signal in northern CA in '93 about 26 years ago...yep, that long ago.

The cameras that are strictly for vehicle detection are generally on the traffic signal pole's mast arm, not the vertical shaft and are closest to the center of the lanes they are intended to "look" at and sometime on the street light arm at the very top...the intent is to prevent occlusion (blocking of sight by taller vehicles).

These same cameras also generally output either a logic ground by an open collector transistor or a relay closure to logic ground when it detects a vehicle.....the traffic signal controller in the cabinet on the corner receives that input and makes all the decisions about what to do with it, not the camera.

EDIT: the video vehicle detection software allows one to draw virtual "roadway vehicle detection loops" where the camera looks at the traffic lane/pavement much like the motion zones drawn with VMS's, (Blue Iris, etc.) and surveillance camera software.
 
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gregbert

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Also a lot of this is unchecked/out of control government spending.
It's not like they're spending their own money and as soon as somebody tries to push back on a budget increase, all you hear is "think of the children" or "we need to pay the police" or whatever.
Even though nobody is asking to cut those programs, they spin it with this kind of response.

We had a similar issue in our local school district which bought 100's of IPads a few years ago. Not only are they buying the premium-priced system, the units really provided no benefit to the students, with them mostly being hacked by the kids to play games or browse the Internet. One of the students actually wrote an article and pushed back on the administration that these were a waste. I think they actually acknowledged the results. Surprise! This year they just bought a whole new replacement set and...our taxes went up again. "But think of the children!"

/end political rant, but it was pertinent to the thread.
 
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