A new traffic management system in Midtown Manhattan allows city traffic engineers to monitor and respond to conditions in real time, improving traffic flow through the use of 32 cameras, 100 motion sensors and E-ZPass Readers at 23 intersections. The system, called Midtown in Motion, measures traffic volumes, congestion and travel times in the 110-square block area between Second and Sixth Avenues and 42nd and 57th streets. The information is transmitted wirelessly to the Traffic Management Center, which can then identify congestion as it occurs and change traffic signal patterns to clear jams. The information could also eventually become available to motorists on their PDAs and smart phones.

According to Mayor Bloomberg, it is the most sophisticated traffic management system in the country. Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Carole Post reported that previously, traffic signals could only be programmed to accommodate predictable traffic patterns like the anticipated flow of cars during the morning rush, without the ability to adapt to car crashes, constructions, special events and congestion. The traffic signals can now be used to evenly distribute traffic, or to clear blocked areas. The system cost $1.6 million to install, including $1 million in city funding and $600,000 from the Federal Highway Administration.