A research facility where trainees will be taught to untangle traffic problems has been opened at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Growing counties, including Ventura County, will soon be beset with such typical urban problems as traffic congestion, said Steve Hockaday, director of the $500,000 traffic research program devised by the California Department of Transportation, California Highway Patrol and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
The research facility simulates the Los Angeles Traffic Operations Center, a control tower in which workers gather information from the roadways and then direct police, tow trucks and emergency vehicles to clear up traffic jams.
"Caltrans and the CHP will be building a number of centers like the one in L.A. throughout the state," Hockaday said. "This research facility will be used as a training ground and as a way to test out new techniques."
A computer wall display will show a representation of roadway conditions, traffic flow, simulated accidents, rush-hour traffic jams and other problems. Trainees will phone in instructions, providing realistic practice in dealing with traffic jams, Hockaday said.