This train-detection application was built by the team from DevelopmentNow, a Portland development agency specializing in innovative software that solves problems.

Drivers in Portland, OR generally don’t use their horns. At Southeast 11th and Division, however, it regularly sounds like rush-hour gridlock in Manhattan when trains block traffic. This project was born from a desire to fix this problem—or at least help drivers circumnavigate it. Reducing traffic congestion lowers emissions, reduces noise, improves productivity, gives people time back in their day, and makes everyone a little happier.

The trains that run across Southeast 11th Avenue (or Milwaukie Avenue, depending who you ask) cause delays and traffic back-ups at 11th and Division. The people behind this application work in an office with a birds-eye view of all this, and we figured we could use our vantage point to everyone’s advantage.

We used AI/machine learning, vision processing, predictive heuristics, and off-the-shelf hardware to build a cloud-based prototype of this application. After a bit of tweaking and testing, the application tells us with reasonable accuracy whether a train is blocking the intersection outside our window. We hope you can use this application to avoid the two-hour traffic jams at Southeast 11th and Division, because, yes, those actually happen.

We’re constantly improving and updating this application and would love your feedback. Feel free to email us at: ohgodnotagain@isatrainblocking11th.com