Hackney traffic monitoring citizen science trial

We’re trialling citizen-powered traffic monitoring

Hackney Council want to involve local people in monitoring traffic, to make this a more collaborative and transparent process. We’re inviting selected residents to trial hosting small traffic monitoring devices which can automatically count the number of cars, pedestrians and cyclists that pass by. The anonymised data is published in a public-facing dashboard, so everyone can understand how busy local streets are in close to real-time. 

We are particularly interested to hear from residents in the Hackney Central area, but we are also interested in finding locations elsewhere in the borough that have a good view of passing traffic, walkers or cyclists.

The device uses a low resolution camera to count road users, this includes walking, cycling and different types of motor vehicles. No footage is recorded, stored or shared by the device – it simply identifies what it can see in real-time and logs this anonymously. The device uploads traffic counts to a public-facing dashboard in 15-minute intervals.

The trial will build on our current independent traffic monitoring process

Currently, Hackney Council commissions independent traffic monitoring using automatic traffic counters. Whilst this helps establish a good picture of traffic in an area, there isn’t much opportunity for people to get involved, or see the complex data collected in real time. By working with local residents and providing a publicly available data dashboard, we think that we can supplement our traffic data collection and give people visibility of traffic movements. This approach will enhance our understanding of travel in local neighbourhoods and widen our existing evidence base to continue to make informed decisions. 

How to get involved

The only requirement for a resident hosting a Telraam device is that the device is mounted on the inside of an upper floor window which has an unobstructed view of the street. The device does not need an internet connection. 

We are inviting residents to have a Telraam device placed in their window overlooking the street. We are particularly interested in the Hackney Central area, but are inviting residents from around the borough to express an interest. Applications will be reviewed to assess the suitability of the site. Residents who are selected will be invited to participate in a workshop which will provide training and context about the trial. If you are interested in hosting a Telraam device, please apply by 8st October 2023 using the form on this page