Can the TravelSafely app make the streets of Charlotte safer?  |  WFAE 90.7

Can the TravelSafely app make the streets of Charlotte safer? | WFAE 90.7

Three voices sounded concurrently over my automotive audio system Monday morning within the South Finish: one was my GPS directing me to Krispy Kreme. One other was Taylor Swift and her new album “Midnights.” The third was the Metropolis of Charlotte’s new TravelSafely app.

Town launched a check venture per week in the past by means of the Look TravelSafely app as a part of Charlotte’s “Vision Zero” safety initiative Remove highway deaths and critical accidents. The app provides site visitors alerts to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to assist them navigate safely by means of 30 intersections within the South Finish by means of November 2023.

If TravelSafely proves it could possibly cut back accidents, it could possibly be in Charlotte indefinitely. Saying the app final week, the town stated it was “superior expertise” that “will join those that obtain the app to a community of site visitors intersections, pedestrian beacons, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians”.

(Photograph courtesy of TravelSafely)

The TravelSafely app alerts drivers to altering site visitors lights and TravelSafely pedestrians crossing the road on the South Finish intersections pictured above.

TravelSafely has site visitors alert techniques in 241 jurisdictions in america and Canada, and because the app appeared in beta in 2017, it has greater than 10,000 downloads, stated Invoice Wells, vp. of communications at Utilized Data, the expertise firm that developed the app.

I downloaded the free app on Monday from the Apple App Retailer (additionally obtainable on the Google Play Retailer) to see the way it labored and if it really improves safety.

How did that occur

As soon as I obtained to South Finish in my Toyota Solara, I opened the TravelSafely app and left it within the background whereas I used my Waze navigation app set to Financial institution of America Stadium (the place the restrict ends north of the app on South Mint Avenue). The inexperienced beacon icon in the correct nook of the display screen let me know I used to be linked to the community.

Each time I used to be stopped at a pink gentle, TravelSafely would announce “prepare for inexperienced” in a feminine Siri-like voice inside three seconds of turning the sunshine. On the subsequent pink gentle on South Tryon Avenue, I modified my telephone’s show display screen to TravelSafely and noticed a countdown to the inexperienced gentle.

A screen with red, yellow and green arrows

Reprimanded when approaching pink gentle: The app additionally gives an upcoming pink gentle alert for these approaching too shortly. Embarrassingly sufficient, I additionally had the expertise of being reprimanded by TravelSafely. The app stated “pink gentle alarm” as I (allegedly) approached a site visitors gentle on South Boulevard at a pace deemed too quick by TravelSafely.

The app can also be speculated to alert drivers of pedestrians and cyclists who’re additionally linked to the TravelSafely community. Though it was busy on a sunny late morning within the South Finish, none of them appeared to have the app.

The Utilized Data spokesperson stated as soon as extra folks obtain and use the app, will probably be extra helpful.

Pilot mode has extra options that I could not see in my check. In accordance with a press launch from the Metropolis of Charlotte, the app additionally alerts customers if they’re driving too quick in a sluggish pace zone, warns motorists if a bicycle owner makes use of the app on the highway forward of them, and warns motorists pedestrians utilizing the app within the crosswalk in entrance of you if it detects that the motorist is not going to cease.

The app would not appear to acknowledge any gentle rail crossings on the highway, a minimum of not the one at East Carson Boulevard.

I parked on Hawkins Avenue and walked alongside Camden Avenue to check the pedestrian mode. After strolling round for some time and seeing no alerts seem on my telephone, I assumed the mode wasn’t working and emailed the TravelSafely helpdesk.

I acquired a telephone name just a few hours later from TravelSafely, and so they defined to me that pedestrian mode doesn’t present site visitors lights. As a substitute, it alerts drivers utilizing TravelSafely when pedestrians are close by. Pedestrians additionally obtain an alert when a TravelSafely driver is close to them.

As a result of the app simply launched final week, there weren’t sufficient TravelSafely customers within the South Finish on Monday morning, which is why pedestrian mode did not appear to work.

My general ranking: ⭐⭐⭐/5

What I preferred

  • The app was free and simple to arrange and use.
  • I might hold my GPS because the foreground display screen on my telephone whereas listening to TravelSafely alerts within the background.
  • As a considerably impatient particular person, I loved seeing what number of seconds I had left to attend for the inexperienced gentle.

What I didn’t like

  • It didn’t give warning at gentle crossings which additionally didn’t have site visitors lights.
  • Leaving the app open within the background drained my battery sooner than common.
  • The pilot program is in such a small part of city, I am unable to say I will ever keep in mind opening the app as soon as throughout South Boulevard.


Since I did not meet anybody else utilizing the app, I could not see the total potential of TravelSafely to forestall site visitors accidents. But when extra folks obtain the app and use it, then TravelSafely might have an extended lifespan in Charlotte after the pilot program ends in November 2023.

Lindsey Banks is a employees author for The Charlotte Ledger. Contact her at [email protected].

#TravelSafely #app #streets #Charlotte #safer #WFAE

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