Dozens of cameras will be installed on utility poles throughout Palo Alto as part of the city's latest attempt to gauge the comings and goings of local bicyclists and pedestrians.
The City Council approved on Monday night a contract with the firm VIMOC Technologies to install 45 low-resolution cameras, which will count the number of bicyclists and pedestrians going in each direction. Once the video is taken and the data is collected, the footage will be deleted, according to a report from the Department of Planning and Community Environment. In addition, the company will be installing 100 additional sensors in downtown to count the turnover in parked cars.
"The imaging technologies that we have through this contract will be incapable of identifying individuals, and record keeping is very limited," Keene said.
According to the city's report, the cameras will be mounted on streetlights and traffic poles throughout the city, with particular attention to school sites. Several cameras will go up on Arastradero Road, near Gunn High and Terman Middle schools. Cameras will also be installed around Palo Alto High School; Jordan and JLS middle schools; and Palo Verde, Escondido, Duveneck and El Carmelo elementary schools. According to the city, 80 percent of the $100,000 cost for the new cameras will come from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority as part of the county's Safe Routes to School program.
The car sensors, meanwhile, will focus on downtown. The installation will be the latest phase of a pilot program that the city launched last year with VIMOC on Hamilton Avenue. They will track parking occupancy and parking turnover and provide the city with information that "can be used to inform the creation of parking-management policies," according to the staff report.
The parking counters consist of in-ground sensors that detect parking occupancy and send information to computing nodes that are mounted on poles within 100 meters of the sensor. The car sensors will be installed at no cost to the city, according to the report.