Steve Rowell

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© 2020 Stéve Röwëll

Loop Feedback Loop: The Big Picture of Traffic Control In Los Angeles

In collaboration with CLUI

THE CENTER CELEBRATED TRAFFIC LAST March, in an exhibit called Loop Feedback Loop: The Big Picture of Traffic Control in Los Angeles, as part of an ongoing exploration of Los Angeles’ infrastructure. The exhibit included a public presentation one evening by a representative from the City of Los Angeles’ Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control Center (ATSAC), the agency that controls most of the City’s traffic flow, helping to keep the six million registered cars in the county from becoming just a big pile in Diamond Bar. Steve Rostam, the ATSAC engineer in charge of instrumentation and maintenance for the west side of Los Angeles, spoke to a capacity CLUI audience, and wowed the crowd with his intimate, detailed knowledge of how it all works, from the minutest detail such as the frequency of the inductive loops, to how the city’s underground traffic management center is used to control the flow on Oscar Night, when the lines of limos have to arrive with carefully orchestrated precision—(or else!).

The exhibit, produced by the CLUI’s Transportation Systems Program, in association with the Institute for Advanced Architecture, was on view from March 5 to April 4, 2004, at the Center’s exhibit space on the west side of Los Angeles. It featured displays about the hardware and software of the city’s traffic management systems, from the inductive loops embedded in the road surface, to the centralized traffic control rooms.

Read more in the CLUI newsletter article about this project

Select footage from ATSAC, used in the 2004 exhibit at CLUI Los Angeles