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13 CHAPTER 4 IMPLICATIONS AND CHALLENGES The purpose of this section is to provide reference exam- conditions prior to enhancing the current TIM system. This ples and lessons learned for TIM practitioners from other lack of general TIM performance measures precludes quan- jurisdictions. Presented below are analyses of the findings tifiable assessment of the portion of the benefits correspond- from the site investigations. The major categories are benefits ing to better information sharing. and performance measures, institutional implications, techno- logical implications, and operational implications. 4.2 INSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS The willingness of leaders and organizations to work within 4.1 BENEFITS AND cooperative partnerships is a cornerstone of successful TIM. PERFORMANCE MEASURES As documented in the case studies, each of the locations with Most local officials interviewed strongly supported shar- effective information sharing between transportation agencies ing traffic incident information and employing multiagency and public safety agencies had formal frameworks in place for teams to manage traffic incidents. The consensus opinion cooperative activities and day-to-day working relationships at among these officials was that information sharing provides many levels of the organizations. strong benefits in supporting coordination and cooperation in planning for and managing traffic incidents. However, these 4.2.1 Frameworks opinions were based generally on anecdotes and experience rather than hard evidence. No location visited during this study Successful, long-lasting joint operations must be built on could formally quantify the benefits of information sharing. firm institutional foundations. Such foundations are con- Moreover, most locations had no data to measure how other structed out of mutual commitments that bind transportation TIM practices affected detection, notification, response, clear- agencies and public safety agencies to a common purpose ance time, responder safety, or other metrics of performance. and that ensure continuing support. A number of cooperative Some locations have conducted subjective and empirical frameworks for coordinating public safety and transportation assessments of TIM benefits. Incident responders in San Anto- operations were found during the site investigations. All nio have estimated that joint training and planning activities frameworks involved regional traffic management or incident of the CMT has resulted in a 40-percent decrease in incident management plans and organizations. Some of the frame- clearance times. WSDOT has developed a quarterly report- works could serve as models for other locations planning to ing process to track a variety of performance and account- implement cooperative programs. ability measures for routine review by the Washington State In all cases investigated, the frameworks were based on Transportation Commission and others. This report includes formal agreements or regional plans. These are memoranda a section on incident response, including the total number of of agreement, memoranda of understanding, and other forms responses by month, the average clearance times by month, of interagency contractual accord. Copies of some of these and the number of incidents that last more than 90 minutes. agreements are included in the case studies; all agreements To add some specificity and to link these statistics to actual are public documents that may be available from the organi- highway situations, examples of incidents that lasted more zations listed for the survey sites. Some of the content might than 90 minutes in the quarter are also provided. be reusable; however, the format and content follow locally All the sites visited face similar performance measurement applicable statutes and regulations. difficulties. They generally lack a baseline set of performance In New York, the relationship between the Thruway Author- data with which current performance data can be compared. ity and the state police epitomizes public safety and trans- Such a baseline database would characterize the performance portation integration. With a formal partnership extending of the system prior to implementing the new TIM capability. over five decades, these agencies have established a rare insti- This baseline database is not intended to cover a situation tutional framework. At the Thruway Statewide Operations without any TIM system in operation; it need only reflect the Center, TIM information sharing between public safety and