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26 Route Optimization phone number for access to traffic and road condition infor- mation, has provided a standard method for supplying trav- The increasing attention to efficient chemical use and resource eler information. Most of the responding highway agencies expenditures drives analysis and planning to a far finer detail use a combination of the Internet, the media, and telephone than previously. The attachment of actual road surface con- services such as a hotline or a 511 system to disseminate the ditions such as solution chemical concentration and pave- information. Figure 5 shows an example of the types of infor- ment temperature taken by sensors on the truck to the posi- mation being provided by Connecticut on the Internet. Ore- tion of the truck along the highway network calculated by an gon's TripCheck has won two awards for its concept and on-board AVL receiver becomes significant. This informa- design. Users are able to configure their own set of cameras tion can then be processed in terms of the expected route and road reports to meet their travel routes or patterns. length and conditions, precipitation rates, and the amount of materials still loaded to optimize plowing and spreading activ- A number of agencies use a variety of strategies including ities. This same information has high value as historical rec- the Internet as a means to increase public awareness of winter ords to optimize, plan, and manage activities on an annual operation goals and constraints. An excellent example is Cal- basis. When faced with increasing demands from funding trans' Snow & Ice Control Operations brochure, available as sources to validate expenditures, this type of advanced infor- an Adobe Acrobat file on the Caltrans website. Another exam- mation could be increasingly useful. ple is the Idaho Transportation Department's website, which provides both current driving conditions by means of the Road Report and a variety of other winter maintenance information TRAVELER INFORMATION to assist the public. Illinois provides RWISESS information on the Internet to allow the public to view at least a portion More than 95% of the agencies involved in this study replied of the information electronically. Mn/DOT makes remarkable that they report winter road conditions regularly to the pub- use of their performance measure "Dashboards" in communi- lic. The advent of 511, a nationally designated three-digit cating with the public. Figure 6 shows an example of this type FIGURE 5 Connecticut road conditions as viewed on Connecticut DOT website. Precipitation codes include: IP (sleet), L (drizzle), NP (no precipitation), R (rain), RIP (rain/sleet), S (snow), SIP (snow/sleet), SW (flurries), Z (freezing rain), and ZIP (freezing rain/sleet).

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27 FIGURE 6 Winter maintenance practices for public information as displayed on the WSDOT website. of public education being done by the WSDOT through their Weather Warning Systems website. Severe or problematic weather warning is another topic of Many of the agencies reported close coordination between interest. Nine of 21 agencies reporting indicated that they use different sections within the agency to manage winter main- severe weather warning systems for fog, visibility, flooded tenance, traffic operations, and information handling. The roads, or other conditions. Most of these report using dynamic greatest level of cooperation appears to be between mainte- message signs and/or highway advisory radio systems to nance and those managing information for public dissemi- warn motorists. Some agencies reported on the use of per- nation. Maryland makes use of a communications center or manent features such as signs or delineators in areas with emergency operations center to pass weather-related roadway chronically poor visibility. Nevada has installed a high wind information to the public, either by means of ITS elements or warning system on a state route in Washoe Valley. Many the media. respondents reported on the use of visibility sensors in asso- ciation with other RWISESS sensors to detect conditions New Brunswick reported using private call centers to for which they will then disseminate a warning. Visibility respond to road condition requests. Thirteen of the 22 agen- and fog are key issues as cited in a 1999 FHWA Tech Brief cies that make use of a reporting system collaborate and share that included examples of crashes (Highway Fog Warning data with adjacent provinces or states. System 1999).