Phoenix, AZ — The AZTech Regional Partnership is celebrating 20 years of transportation innovation in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The group first came together in October 1996 as part of the Federal Highway Administration's Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Metropolitan Model Deployment Initiative (MDI) to improve regional mobility and safety by enhancing traffic management tools and improving the dissemination of information to travelers.
"The primary goal of AZTech is to provide seamless transportation across jurisdictional boundaries," said AZTech Co-Chair and MCDOT Director Jennifer Toth. "As drivers, we drive across city boundaries on a daily basis and most of the time, we aren't even aware of it. That's because of the work AZTech has done over the past 20 years toward creating that seamless transportation system."
Since 1996, the AZTech Regional Partnership has collaborated on initiatives to share data and information between agencies as well as with the public. This has resulted in a network of 13 agency traffic management centers, 3,341 traffic signals, 1,315 arterial CCTV cameras and first responder computer aided dispatch (CAD) systems. The data is aggregated and then put out to drivers through the Arizona 511 system, the media, social media and on 217 dynamic message boards placed on freeways and arterial roads.
AZTech partnership has also focused on roadway incident management and event management. The group put together dedicated teams to provide traffic control on freeway and arterial roads during emergency incidents and planned events, helping to reduce the amount of time for lane or road closures and keeping traffic flowing.
In the future the AZTech Regional Partnership will continue to improve its data collaborations, especially as larger amounts of data from vehicles and infrastructure become available. Connected vehicle testing has been underway in Maricopa County since 2007 and is integral to the future of transportation.
"Moving forward, technology is going to be our solution," said AZTech Co-Chair and ADOT Deputy Director for Transportation Dallas Hammit. "We can share a lot of information. I think AZTech is going to give us that opportunity between the different agencies to share that technology and what we have learned and how we can make it better for the whole valley."
The AZTech Regional Partnership is comprised of 25 public partners including: the Federal Highway Administration, Arizona Department of Transportation, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Maricopa Association of Governments, Maricopa County Department of Transportation, Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management, Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Valley Metro Regional Public Transit Authority, City of Avondale, City of Chandler, City of Glendale, City of Goodyear, City of Mesa, City of Peoria, City of Phoenix, City of Scottsdale, City of Surprise, City of Tempe, Town of Buckeye, Town of Fountain Hills, Town of Gilbert, Town of Paradise Valley and Town of Queen Creek.