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West Michigan Transportation Operations Center
The WMTOC monitors more than 1,800 miles of freeways and arterial roadways in the 13 counties of MDOT’s Grand Region and assists the public and local agencies with incident management and traffic monitoring.
Learn more about the WMTOC.
What type and how many devices does the WMTOC use to monitor and inform traffic?
What is Safety Service Patrol? What do they do?
The Safety Service Patrol (SSP) is a service provided by MDOT at no cost to motorists. There are up to two operators patrolling the freeways in Kent County to assist motorists in need. SSP operators also remove debris from the roadway, mark abandoned vehicles and support emergency responders when crashes occur. They are currently available 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday - Friday and are dispatched by the WMTOC. SSP is not an on-demand service that can be requested nor is there a phone number to call for assistance.
The roads being patrolled are:
- US-131 from 100th Street to 10 Mile Road,
- I-96 from Fruit Ridge Avenue to M-50, and
- I-196 from 44th Street to I-96.
What is a vehicle detector?
It is a sensor that detects the speed volume, and lane occupancy at a specific point on the freeway. The sensor is able to determine the lane and the size (classification) of vehicles traveling past the detector.
Does the WMTOC record video?
No. WMTOC does not record traffic video.
Where are the devices located?
Most of the WMTOC devices for the Grand Region are in Kent County. However, there are also some in most of our region’s counties. Devices are located along the freeways, M-routes, and major arterial roads. Motorists can view camera and DMS locations on Mi Drive.
Who do I contact about traffic signal problems?
If the traffic signal issue is on a state route, which includes US, M, and I routes, please call the WMTOC at 616-451-8329. If not on a state route, contact the city or county in which the traffic signal is located.
With all those cameras, do you see everything we are doing?
No, the WMTOC uses a bird’s-eye view to focus on incidents and congestion to support traffic management activities that provide motorists with information to be able to make informed decisions about their routes. The WMTOC provides motorists with real-time traffic information.
Where does MDOT get the travel times that are posted on the message boards and what do they mean?
The travel times shown on the DMS are provided to give motorists an idea of the congestion on the route(s) ahead of them so that they can make route decisions or be ready to react to slower traffic. MDOT contracts with a traffic data provider that uses a variety of sources (such as cell phone signals, GPS on fleet vehicles, and MDOT’s roadway speed detectors) to build a model of traffic-flow speed for segments on the roadways. This data provides the average speed of vehicles that have traveled the segment in the most recent time period. This average speed is used by the MDOT Advanced Traffic Management System software to calculate the time it would take a vehicle to travel the distance from the DMS to the destination shown on the sign. The system sends an updated calculated travel time to the DMS every two minutes.
MDOT’s DMS usually display one or two destinations and includes a distance to the destination to help motorists determine if the speed is slower than expected. On some DMS, travel times for two alternate routes to the same destination are shown.
When travel times are higher than the normal “free-flow speed,” then motorists know that something is going on. When there is an impact on the roadway, such as a lane closure due to a crash or a planned event, the TOC will either override the travel time message or add the information on a second phase. Watch this video to learn about travel times and real-time information.
How can I stay informed of what is happening on state routes throughout all of Michigan?
How can I get alerts to know when there is an incident on the roadway?
Does MDOT use any social media sites to update the public?