Traffic management is an important branch in transportation logistics. It concerns the procurement, planning and control of transportation services required to physically transport goods and vehicles from one point to another. This includes the movement of goods from the warehouse to the customer, from the delivery point to the point of final processing, as well as the movement of raw materials, finished goods and other commodities between suppliers, factories and warehouses. The objective of traffic management is to ensure that all aspects of the transportation of goods take place smoothly and are safe, thus contributing to the success or failure of any transportation process. See website for more
One aspect of traffic management that has caught the attention of many transportation planners and managers is the use of advanced technology such as electronic control panels (ECPs), traffic lights, variable message signs, GPS tracking systems, etc., to manage and monitor the flow of traffic. Traffic lights are one such example, designed to manage the flow of traffic in controlled ways that prevent the occurrence of delays and accidents. For instance, when approaching a red light, some vehicles (including some taxis) actually slow down to allow the turn to proceed; and while this is sometimes unavoidable given the high rate of speed at some intersections, it presents a safety hazard for both drivers and pedestrians. Electronic control panels can detect when a vehicle is about to enter an intersection; if a variable message sign or speed sign is displayed, the sign and lights may change color to warn traffic of the increased presence of vehicles, and the turn will then be allowed. This example illustrates the potential use of traffic signs and symbols to control the travel speeds of vehicles, thus preventing accidents.
Traffic management can also include active control of the flow of traffic through the use of emergency stopping, speeding up of vehicles when necessary, creation of traffic-filtering routes, etc. The objective of this approach is to meet the objectives of road construction. For instance, in a busy highway or a busy shopping mall, when large numbers of people are visiting a certain location, the traffic management system would carefully screen vehicle traffic to ensure that only authorized vehicles continue to pass through the bypass route. Similarly, in a public parking lot or at a bus stop, when multiple school children are waiting for a bus, an active signal system would ensure that only buses and other school services may pass through the space. In all of these cases, the objective of traffic management is to maximize the volume of traffic moving into and through a space while minimizing the amount of traffic that causes delays, accidents, or disruptions.