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C H A P T E R 2 Research Approach Guiding Principles demonstrably reduced network impacts is quick clearance policies or specific clearance time parameters aimed at faster The focus of this research is not merely to capture and docu- clearance of minor incidents on freeways. Table 2.1 illustrates ment innovative operations and management programs, mapping of potential business process aspects of quick clear- although those do provide the starting point for identifying ance policies. case studies of process integration to deliver improved relia- Using this approach, the research team was able to identify bility. The purpose of the research is to investigate, identify, where specific processes come together at the field operations, and report on business processes that improve travel time reli- interagency operations, and intra-agency levels. The following ability, particularly those in which specific process integra- were among the principles that guided the review of potential tion points have significant impact on overall reliability. Clear diagramming methodologies: business process diagrams are needed to demonstrate these processes. The diagrams must have an easy-to-understand Multiple agencies and personnel need to be portrayed format geared toward the decision makers and a general audi- within the diagram; ence. They also must capture and accurately portray the fol- Each function and role needs to be assigned to a specific lowing information: agency and person; Integration points need to be identified; and Data flows; The diagram needs to present information chronologically. Decision points; Where process integration occurs; Critical input and output for travel time reliability; Literature Review Entities responsible for certain actions and processes; The research team embarked on a comprehensive review of How action translates into a business process linked to available literature to identify potential case studies and exam- travel time reliability; and ples of successful process integration that resulted in improve- Integration of processes to support travel time reliability. ments in travel time reliability. With the focus on nonrecurring congestion, the research team identified potential operations To further define the key business process aspects examined programs and activities that mapped to the seven root causes as part of this research, a preliminary framework was devel- of congestion and variability in travel times to review as a start- oped to identify core processes and elements. This helped to ing point. frame both the literature review and, more importantly, the The impact of incidents on travel time variability (account- individual interviews and process discussions. Recognizing ing for almost 25% of nonrecurring congestion) indicated a that processes would need to be modeled, it was necessary to greater emphasis on processes that support improved inci- establish some of the important parameters that would ulti- dent management, response, and coordination. There was mately constitute the process analysis and mapping. significant emphasis placed on researching innovative practices Within incident management, there are myriad potential related to incident management and response that demonstrate business processes that could be examined as part of this a linear relationship to improvements in travel time reliability. research, many of these with potentially significant impact on The literature review also included syntheses and research overall reliability. One aspect of incident management that has efforts that captured broader concepts of reliability, including 10

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11 Table 2.1. Operations Business Process Components: Quick Clearance Example Impetus or Catalyst for Business Process What Was the Driving Factor Behind Establishing Quick Clearance Policies? Stakeholders State DOT State police Emergency responders (fire and emergency medical services [EMS]) Freeway Traffic Operations/Management Center operators Freeway service patrol Towing and recovery operations Information inputs Law enforcement dispatch and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) Visual identification (via closed-circuit television [CCTV] camera) Response request (e.g., towing, EMS, state police) Information outputs Impact of incident Traveler information to warn of incident Updates to responders from DOT and law enforcement CAD Sequence of events or actions Identify incident Notify responders Monitor and manage from Traffic Operations Center (TOC) Dispatch freeway service patrol Coordinate responders Implement lane restrictions Notify adjacent agencies of the incident Process integration points Automated CAD feed from law enforcement to DOT Automated video feed from DOT to law enforcement On-scene coordination among law enforcement, DOT, tower/wrecker Potential measures Clearance time Response time How results are reported and used Aggregate and monitor archived traffic flow data for comparisons Policy impacts or needed policies Legislative action to implement broad clearance policy Interagency initiative to develop policy, educate agency staff Formal agreements with other stakeholders and responders Relationship to programming and planning Using measures and results to identify and plan for resource needs (staff, equipment and systems, as well as time frame for when those need to be implemented) Using measures and results to identify where additional policies may be needed Influences on other operational areas Traveler information, media agreements Local agency communications DOT maintenance (e.g., on-call staff, extended hours)