This paper summarises the results from a questionnaire-based survey and follow-up discussions with traffic operations staff of various cities in the world. The questionnaire asked cities about their currently employed control systems as well as about their organization's vision for the future. Data collected include details on traffic management techniques employed, if network monitoring is carried out and if yes, how, as well as about details on the traffic control centre itself. Efforts were further made to collect data on the city background such as population density, modal share and traffic safety which forms the basis to understand why particular solutions were chosen. The answers demonstrate some issues with definitions which are believed to exist not just in our data set but in many of the commonly referred to statistics. The results further show differences between cities as well as common issues and problems that need innovative solutions in the future for sustainable transportation policies. As several cities are currently in the process of defining longer-term strategic plans with similar goals the paper proposes that development of comparable evaluation measures helps municipal traffic managers to better select between available technical solutions. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.