SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) — When it comes to football and traffic, it seems the more cameras the better.
Santa Clara now has the most sophisticated and user-friendly network of remote controlled traffic cameras in the Bay Area.
Sixteen cameras blanket the roads around Levi’s Stadium, feeding live video over fiber optic cables. It’s optimized for mobile devices and available to the public for free.
“24 hours, 7 days a week, this system is operational,” said Santa Clara Police Lt. Kurt Clarke. “So folks will have a sense of feeling what traffic is like at any time of the day.”
Although there are traffic apps like Google offering color-coded live traffic maps, nothing beats seeing it for yourself — especially when it comes to the hoards of foot traffic crossing the streets, live views of the light rail and the main parking lot filling up.
The cameras even have amazing 20x zoom lenses.
“It’s cutting edge in the way we’re using fiber optic communications,” said Traffic Engineering Manager Dennis Ng, who also constantly repositions the cameras on game day and also monitors social media for complaints.
Regarding privacy, the resolution is so low that they can barely make out license plates, let alone faces. The police department says the videos will not be recorded nor stored.
“It’s not Big Brother to be looking at anyone,” Clarke said. “It’s just to enable the public to look and adjust traffic routes to wherever they’re going.”
The goal is to never again have it take three hours just to get onto the freeway like at Candlestick Park.
Levi’s Stadium is seeing a steady increase in the use of the cameras and they think it’s helping on the average drive time. The engineers say once you get out of the parking lot and onto the surface streets, it takes about 10-12 minutes to get to the freeway — and they say it’s getting better.