Students from the Delaware Area Career Center recently helped the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office with a traffic experiment to ease congestion as students leave the DACC.
Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Elverson, the school resource office at the DACC, said the school’s enrollment is the largest in its history, which has led to traffic problems on campus.
“This year we have the most students on campus, which means we have the most student drivers,” Elverson said. “Now that we have all of our students back every day, we started having more crashes at Peachblow Road and Glenn Parkway.”
Elverson said the issue stems not only from the increase in student population, but also comes from the continued growth in the county, which means more drivers in general.
To gather information about traffic, Elverson began manually overriding the traffic signal at Glenn Parkway and U.S. Route 23 to give students more time to get onto 23. He also asked students in the DACC’s Digital Design program to help him by filming the traffic.
Digital Design instructor Josh Gallagan offered that his students could film the traffic patterns with an aerial drone.
“I brought up the idea of pulling our drone out and filming it from an aerial perspective, so we can see the release of the cars and where the backups actually exist,” Gallagan said.
The experiment was filmed by Digital Design students John Fashian, Colson Abshire, Kai Mays and Zane Soliday.
“We filmed one day where the deputy was not directing traffic and another where he was in order to capture the difference in speeds,” said Abshire, who added taking part in the experiment has inspired him to seek his drone license.
Fashian edited the project and allowed for a comparison between the two traffic patterns.
“My part was putting together the drone footage by putting them side by side to show the difference of the traffic flows,” he said.
The video showed that with the manually controlled light, the amount of cars leaving from the school nearly doubled and made the turn safer for drivers from the school.
Elverson said he plans to continue exploring options at the school to make the release at the end of the day as efficient as possible.
Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin praised the teamwork in the project.
“The collaboration between the sheriff’s office and the students at the Delaware Area Career Center was outstanding,” Martin said. “The competency of the students and the instruction of the staff was truly beneficial in getting a comprehensive view and perspective of the traffic issue through the use of a drone. This is truly what partnership looks like.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG. Information in this story was provided by Bella Fredritz and Caroline Chubb.