Pennsylvania Turnpike using technology to clear accident scenes quicker

As a senior traffic operations manager for the Pennsylvania Turnpike, John Parker knew that tons of information is available about conditions on the toll road from a variety of sources: public safety reports, mobile apps such as Waze, even social media.

But at the turnpike’s control center in Harrisburg, it was a cumbersome process, at best, for the Traffic, Engineering and Operations personnel to monitor and use that information in the best ways possible.

So about a year ago, Mr. Parker and a team of colleagues developed a geographic information system web application known as Catch it Early, Act, Analyze and Review to help. That’s a real mouthful, but it means the app sorts through all of the information available to tell personnel what they really need to know so the agency can respond quicker when incidents occur.

And it has worked. In the year since the turnpike began using the app, the turnpike has seen the average delay for accidents and other incidents reduced from one hour and 46 minutes to one hour and 18 minutes.