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Houstonian Corner (V13-I130

March 27, 2011 by  


City Of Houston Launches New Arterial Travel Time Tool In West Houston

Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the City of Houston’s Department of Public Works & Engineering announced a new traffic management tool for Houston drivers using state-of-the-art Bluetooth technology. This probe-based travel time approach allows drivers to see real-time travel flow via the Houston TranStar web site using Bluetooth readers, placed at key locations in west Houston. Commuters in the area will now be able to navigate around potentially congested roadways, saving time and money.

It’s the largest known deployment of Bluetooth technology by a governmental agency nationwide.

“The nearly 250,000 people who live here, as well as the 12.7 million people who work in and travel through this area, will greatly benefit from this new technology,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “We know that west Houston is one of those areas experiencing increased growth.”

In the project’s early research stage, using previous technology with toll tag readers as the identifiers was priced at $90,000 per location. The newer, Bluetooth-based devices were deployed at a total cost of $50,000 along with the utilization traffic signals in the service area. The City’s total cost avoidance is approximately $4.5 million.

The Bluetooth Readers identify an anonymous identification (ID) addresses associated with Bluetooth devices such as cell phones, headsets and automobiles. Those addresses are then matched between intersections and the travel time is calculated. The anonymous Bluetooth ID number is deleted once a match has been made.

The 62-square-mile area is bounded by IH-10 (Katy Freeway) on the north, IH-610 (West Loop) on the east, the Westpark Tollway on the south and up to and including SH-6 on the west. Approximately 12.7 million vehicle miles travel daily through this corridor, covering four major employment centers: Uptown Houston, Westchase, Memorial City and the Energy Corridor.

Funded by the City of Houston, this Bluetooth-based AWAM (Anonymous Wireless Address Matching) sensor technology was researched and developed by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), a part of the Texas A&M University System. It is the first phase of a wider Intelligent Transportation Systems deployment that will include Pan-Tilt-Zoom Cameras and Dynamic Message Signs. The success of this project may lead to expanded coverage in other areas of the City.

The map can be viewed at www.houstontranstar.org

Community Strongly Condemns Fires at the Clear Lake Jamia Masjid

Clear Lake, Texas: Two fires broke out at the Jamia Masjid in Clear Lake near Houston on Wednesday, and Thursday, when the Musaleenz (worshippers) had gathered for prayers.

The back side of the Masjid, including library, kitchen, women’s prayer room, and back exit, has been badly damaged, while most fortunately no one got injured. People in the surrounding communities have shown concerns on these fires.

Jamia Masjid in Clear Lake, which is located at 16400 Sealark Drive, is under the helm of the AL-Noor Society of Greater Houston. Initially the Masjid Administration thought the fire was due to certain electric problems. But the second fire has raised the suspicion that it may be a serious case of arson.

Several members of the Muslim community either called in or visited the radio studios of “Baseerat Program” on 1090AM (Saturday 11am-1pm), which is done Akhtar Abdullah, one of the executives of AL-Noor Society of Greater Houston. Everyone strongly condemned this attack of Masjid.

Akhtar Abdullah, Mustafa Carroll of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Houston (CAIR-Houston), and Patrick Trahan of Houston Fire Department, have all said that questions resonance from the fact that fire breaks out in a Masjid twice in two days, when congregation is happening.

Several persons have said that the ongoing wave of Islamophobia created by some uninformed persons is not good for the pluralistic USA society: Majority of people in USA are open minded and open hearted persons, while the few ignorant are nice persons too and will learn their mistakes soon.

Special Agent Shauna Dunlap from FBI is working on the case, but until the filing of this report, FBI has not made any final determination.

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