How Atlanta streamlines traffic flows

If you’ve been stuck in traffic, you’ll appreciate Atlanta’s innovative new approach to keep things moving smoothly.

Traffic jams are unpredictable and collecting real-time data over a large area is difficult. The City of Atlanta streamlines traffic with a city-wide system where every driver becomes a mobile traffic sensor and crowdsourced data improves traffic flow.


The City of Atlanta was struck by what Atlanta Mayor Reed termed the single largest transportation disaster on March 30, 2017.  A bridge on one of the main traffic arteries into the city, I-85, collapsed due to a maliciously set fire from beneath. Traffic gridlock lasted for months. Atlanta which belongs to the 100 Resilient Cities program set to work. Stephanie Stuckey, Chief Resiliency Officer for Atlanta turned to the Esri Disaster Response Program, to find a way to ease the traffic burden. A partnership was formed with Esri, a global smart-mapping leader and Waze to build the foundation of Intelligent Transportation Systems.

How it works

Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app with over 65 million monthly active users. The app provides anonymized data which can show the average speed of a segment, and is updated every few minutes. Drivers can also report potholes, roadkill, accidents, disabled motorists, and closed roads are provided in this feed to the city. Every driver is both a traffic sensor and beneficiary of the collected intelligence saving time, fuel and aggravation.

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