<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California.
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Skynet controls your traffic now: how a smart, integrated, real-time traffic system in NYC might help out L.A.

The iconic Hal 9000 is an example of a computer tasked with the management of human lives.
The iconic Hal 9000 is an example of a computer tasked with the management of human lives.

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Since the mid-1980s, Los Angeles has been on the cutting edge of traffic monitoring (is that news to you, there, on the 405?) but this week, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg rolled out a new weapon to fight midtown traffic. The massive $1.6 million program, paid in part by the federal government, connects traffic engineers in the Long Island City traffic command center to E-ZPass readers at 23 intersections across 110 Midtown blocks through wireless technology. The city hopes the new system will allow them to know when traffic jams erupt and give them the ability to immediately react and manipulate the length of traffic signals to ease those logjams. Ultimately, they plan to make that data available to drivers in the form of iPad and iPhone apps. Frank checks in for details on how New York is battling its traffic, what it’s learned from LA’s battles, and where Los Angeles stands now. Have we fallen off the cutting edge? Or is it just a whole different ballgame here?


Sarah Catz, director of the Center for Urban Infrastructure at Brandman University in the Chapman University system

Rachel Weinberger, assistant professor of City & Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania; former senior policy adviser for transportation to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg