As you probably are aware, each year traffic and the number of people increase in Park City during ski season and during the Sundance Film Festival. In fact, nearly 2 million visitors come to our little town, which has a small year round population of only 8,000 residents.
This January, Park City will begin learning about how people and traffic move around the city due to a pilot project that is a partnership between the city and Blyncsy. During this past summer, a network of 25 data sensor boxes were attached to streetlights.
The sensor network uses WiFi and Bluetooth signals to catch information on approximately 80 percent of travelers who pass by the sensors. This data is going to help the city understand where people are going, as well as what they are doing.
According to Jonathon Weidenhamer, Park City’s economic development director, “…down the line, because we produce and mange special events, we can figure out … spending habits and permit business that are financially lucrative versus ones that are not.” He continues by saying that is all about the quality of the visitors’ experience. He continues, saying that it is about “mitigating the impacts of the resort economy because our resorts are kicking butt.”
This project is in its pilot stage, with Blyncsy offering the City the sensors for a subscription fee and the ability to expand the network.
It is interesting to understand how the system work. The sensor boxes can detect signals from everything including Apple Watches and Teslas to provide a real-time traffic study. Second generation sensors can also detect cell signals. However, don’t worry: no private or personal data is collected.
When the same devices passes by sensors, a biorhythm is detected that can determine if it is a bike or a car, and how many people are present. With these data points, the behavior of workers and visitors, how and where they travel, can be identified.
This data can be used to identify trends. The subsequent reports can then be used to determine if the City needs more infrastructure, parking, traffic signals, and other similar aspects.
At Park City Rental Properties, we are very interested to see the results of these studies. We want to ensure that our visitors have the best possible experience possible when visiting Park City, and of course, no one likes to be stuck in traffic!