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C H A P T E R 7 Case Studies: Multiagency Operations Improvements to travel time reliability, particularly in large Authority, several cities, and state and local law enforcement urban areas, often rely on the integration and coordination of and emergency response agencies. multiple agencies in order to achieve a common goal. This sec- One unique element to the AZTech program is the use of tion presents two case studies that were considered because of a regional database to support real-time information sharing the focus they place on multiagency integration. Often it is the among partner agencies. Agencies in the region determined institutional issues in a project, rather than the technical issues, it would not be financially feasible, nor would it be a viable that are the most challenging. These challenges only grow option from an information technology security standpoint, larger when multiple agencies are involved. The case study that to implement individual connections between agencies to is presented for AZTech examines the process used for multi- share transportation data. A Regional Archived Data Server ple agencies in the Phoenix metropolitan area to view and (RADS) was established to archive data generated by local and exchange real-time traffic data from adjacent jurisdictions. The state agency transportation management systems. Initially, the case study for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission RADS was intended to serve as a regional data archive, and to (MTC) examines the multiagency approach to the develop- provide a repository for regional data that would be populated ment of corridor signal timing plans in the San Francisco by local systems. Agencies in the region also could retrieve Bay Area. archived data from the server to support planning and analy- sis activities. The RADS has since evolved into a data engine that is supporting real-time information exchanges among Arizona: AZTech Regional agencies for transportation network operations data. As the Archived Data Server region moves toward more center-to-center information- AZTech was established in Phoenix, Arizona, as part of the fed- sharing strategies, the RADS has become a critical part of the erally funded Metropolitan Model Deployment Initiatives in overall approach. It has been developed through collaboration 1996 (1). There are several aspects to the AZTech program that of local, county, and state agencies and continues to evolve are focused on improving travel time reliability in the Phoenix and expand as new data sources and systems are deployed in metropolitan area. From the state perspective, Arizona DOT the Phoenix metropolitan area. operates a robust freeway management system that supports As part of the development of this case study, an interview operations during recurring and nonrecurring congestion, was conducted with Faisal Saleem, the Maricopa County DOT including real-time detection, traveler information, incident ITS program manager. He leads many of the operations initia- management and response strategies, and planned event man- tives within AZTech on behalf of Maricopa County. agement. Coordinated and effective arterial operations are also a significant part of the region's transportation operations Description and management strategy. Many local agencies within the Phoenix metropolitan area operate independent traffic signal The AZTech RADS was selected as a case study to demonstrate management systems; many also use CCTV cameras and how various agency processes and operations functions are DMS and operate web-based traveler information systems. enhanced through the ability to view and exchange real-time Agencies within the AZTech partnership include Arizona data from adjacent jurisdictions. This helps to support both DOT, Maricopa County DOT, the Maricopa Association of recurring and nonrecurring congestion management on arte- Governments, Valley Metro/Regional Public Transportation rials and promotes a more coordinated operations approach 61

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62 among state and local agencies in the Phoenix metropolitan Phoenix metropolitan area represented a significant gap that area. Of key importance is the interface that has been estab- needed to be addressed. Arizona DOT's freeway management lished by Phoenix Fire, which is a central dispatch for more system uses an algorithm that can detect major slowdowns in than 20 fire and EMS response agencies (including cities other freeway speeds where there are detectors; however, this does than Phoenix) in the metropolitan area (2). Arterial incident not provide any information about the nature of the incident information had long been a significant data gap, and with or potential impacts. From an arterial operations standpoint, the interface from the Phoenix Fire computer-aided dispatch information about arterial incidents and impacts was not (CAD) system, information about arterial incidents that have readily available, and each city had varying levels of coordi- the potential to significantly affect transportation network nation between traffic operations staff and law enforcement operations are made available to the local TMCs in the region and emergency response staff. There was a need to be able to and to the state and county traffic management/operations capture data about incidents in a way that was automated centers. and could provide broad coverage throughout the metro- politan area; many of the region's key arterials traverse more than one jurisdiction, so it is likely that a major incident could Background of Agency potentially affect multiple traffic management agencies. More Maricopa County DOT and Arizona DOT are the two primary comprehensive information would also support enhanced partner agencies for the RADS development, operations, and traveler information to the public. maintenance. Maricopa County is one of 14 counties in Ari- In collaboration with Phoenix Fire, which dispatches for zona and includes the Phoenix metropolitan area. Maricopa more than 20 fire and EMS agencies in the region, the AZTech has operated a TMC for more than 10 years and also operates partnership embarked on developing a concept of operations traffic signals, DMS, and CCTV cameras on county-owned to transmit data from the Phoenix Fire CAD system to the facilities. In addition to its own infrastructure, Maricopa Maricopa County TMC. Using national standards as a basis, a County DOT often partners with local cities to address cross- working group of the AZTech partnership identified specific jurisdictional traffic operations and incident management requirements for what types of incident information would be issues. These partnerships have collaboratively planned, valuable to support transportation operations and worked deployed, and operated systems among multiple jurisdictions. closely with Phoenix Fire to formalize these requirements and Maricopa County DOT initiated the development of the establish information exchange protocols. Data to be shared RADS database, and Arizona DOT is a key partner in operating, was mutually agreed on by AZTech partners and Phoenix maintaining, and enhancing the capabilities of that system. Fire; Phoenix Fire agreed to provide a filtered data set from Arizona DOT is responsible for operating and managing state- its CAD system so that information shared with transporta- owned transportation facilities, which includes urban area tion agencies did not compromise any sensitive data gathered freeways and rural interstate and highway corridors. Within the during the incident response and on-scene management (3). Phoenix metropolitan area, Arizona DOT operates a freeway Through the requirements development process, several management system, which generates a substantial amount of options were explored for how the CAD data would be shared. real-time data that is used by the Arizona DOT Traffic Opera- Factors such as firewall security (for Phoenix Fire, as well as for tions Center to manage day-to-day network operations and Maricopa County DOT and Arizona DOT), interface require- respond to nonrecurring events, such as freeway incidents, ments, modifications to both Phoenix Fire and agency systems road construction impacts, and planned special-event traffic. to share and accept data, and overall cost requirements were all considered. Through this iterative process, it was agreed that a filtered data set from the Phoenix Fire CAD system would be Process Development pushed to the RADS database, where it would be stored and With the focus of the L01 research on nonrecurring congestion made available to users who are able to access RADS. This and its impacts on travel time reliability, this case study high- approach capitalized on the existing functionality of RADS lights the role of the RADS in supporting regional traffic oper- and also minimized the development effort and modifica- ations and management strategies to respond to nontypical tions that otherwise would have been required to support the travel conditions on the region's freeways and highways. data transfer. A federal interoperability grant was awarded to the AZTech partnership, and Arizona DOT and Maricopa County DOT Detailed Process focused the grant funds on enhancements to information sharing between public safety and transportation management By establishing an automated connection between the Phoenix agencies in the region (2). Up-to-date and near-real-time infor- Fire CAD system and the RADS database, a significant amount mation about incidents affecting arterials and freeways in the of incident information is now made available to support

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63 transportation management and operations, response of trans- networks and initiate an appropriate response from the city portation departments to incidents on freeways and arterials, and county crews, which could include maintenance support as well as provide more accurate information for traveler infor- for incident cleanup or specialized response teams to support mation systems. emergency traffic management near a major incident. Dispatchers at the Phoenix Fire Communications Center The RADS receives updated information from the CAD receive and initiate responses to 911 calls. Initial information is system every minute, and information that is sent to TMCs entered into the CAD system, which includes several fields. or traveler information systems is updated accordingly. There As the dispatcher receives more information about incident could be multiple incidents active within the CAD system; the details and what types of units are being dispatched to respond data set is automatically updated with all active incidents and (fire engines, fire ladder trucks, chief, ambulance), they update any changes in status. the CAD to reflect the current status, severity, and impacts of Figure 7.1 shows a series of processes that result from agen- the incident. The automated feed from the CAD system filters cies using data from the RADS database. Once transportation certain data before sending the data set to the RADS database; management centers are able to access the incident data from this minimizes issues with regard to victim privacy, and it min- RADS, they can initiate a range of responses depending on imizes any potential compromises to the response as a result of the incident severity and location. Maricopa County DOT will information about the incident being distributed. also issue e-mail alerts for major incidents to subscribers, The RADS database has been configured to produce a data which primarily include agency staff, county-operated response set suitable to transmit to other systems, as well as to be viewed teams, and the media. Data are also made available to other sys- by operators at TMCs to ascertain potential impacts to street tems that push incident details to Arizona's 511 service and Figure 7.1. Detailed business process diagram of AZTech regional archived data server (incident data).

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64 web-based traveler information system (www.az511.gov). Interface Module, Phoenix Fire Dispatch System Design (4). This These systems are updated as new information or details are document included a mapping for the CAD fields to Inter- received from the CAD data feed. national Traveler Information System (ITIS) codes that could This figure also shows additional capabilities as a result of then be supported by Arizona DOT and Maricopa County the RADS database. Arizona DOT is able to use RADS as the DOT systems. central data point to generate freeway travel times, which are A formal MOU was established between Phoenix Fire and then displayed on Phoenix metropolitan area DMS and also Maricopa County DOT to share CAD data from Fire with the made available through www.az511.gov and through mobile RADS database. As part of this MOU, data sharing param- devices. Traffic signal data is beginning to be stored on the eters were outlined, including recognition by transportation RADS database, which allows agencies to share information agencies that they would be able to access a filtered data feed about current traffic signal timing plans for better coordina- about arterial incidents, and recognition by Phoenix Fire that tion on cross-jurisdictional corridors. incident data provided to RADS would be shared with several With the implementation of RADS and establishing auto- external entities. mated data feeds between data providers and end users (including TMCs, media, and traveler information systems), Types of Agencies Involved Maricopa County DOT and Arizona DOT were able to auto- mate several business processes, as well as provide for enhanced Arizona DOT and Maricopa County DOT are the primary process integration as a result of having more comprehensive operating and maintaining agencies of the RADS database. incident details on the region's transportation network. Impor- Arizona DOT's Transportation Technology Group houses the tant business process integration points within this strategy RADS database and provides the IT expertise (internal and include the following: through consultant support) to update and maintain RADS, as well as establish additional interfaces with external agency The collaborative operations of the RADS database repre- systems. These agencies are also among the primary users of sent an important integration point, because they involve the RADS data, including the incident data feed, as well as the ongoing development, updating, and enhancements to the stored freeway management system data. system that are derived from AZTech partner needs. Mari- Phoenix Fire provides the data push of incident details to the copa County had the initial lead in developing and estab- RADS database. Operators at the Phoenix Fire Communica- lishing this regional database, which is now housed at the tions Center are responsible for entering and updating incident Arizona DOT traffic operations center and maintained by information as more details emerge from 911 callers and from Arizona DOT technology staff. As enhancements are iden- fire and EMS responders. With the development work com- tified and prioritized, partners collaborate on funding strate- pleted to establish the data feed, there is no impact on Phoenix gies, and have been able to apply a variety of funding sources Fire dispatcher operations to provide the data; an automated (local, state, and federal) to the operations and enhance- push is built into the system, which then populates the RADS ments of this regional data server. database and makes that information available to outside Establishing the data transfer from the Phoenix Fire CAD entities to support a range of other operations and response system to RADS represents a very key integration of multi- processes. ple agency processes. The centralized database provides for Through the AZTech partnership, several public sector a secure means of sharing critical information with addi- agencies within the Phoenix metropolitan area have or plan to tional public sector entities, as well as with private media and have direct access to RADS. Some agencies are working with other subscribers. When TMCs have that data, they are able Maricopa County DOT and Arizona DOT to establish direct to initiate responses to incidents, which could include dis- interfaces to be able to share their signal timing data. This also patching their own crews for incident clearance, modifying involves vendors of their respective traffic signal systems to traffic management plans and signal timing plans to respond make the necessary modifications to support the data feed. As to increased congestion near the incident scene, and updat- part of being an AZTech partner, each agency agrees that data ing traveler information that is disseminated to the public. shared with the central system will be used on a regional level Multiple data types are stored in the RADS database that is to support enhanced operations and traveler information. Spe- then used to support traffic management, incident man- cific data-sharing issues or needs are worked through on a case- agement and response, and traveler information alerts and by-case basis. notifications. Types of Nonrecurring Congestion Addressed Design for the interface to the Phoenix Fire CAD data feed to RADS was documented as part of an April 2006 publica- The focus of this case study has been primarily on sharing inci- tion entitled Emergency Management System Center-to-Center dent data to support transportation management operations

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65 and response to incident conditions on roads in the Phoenix RADS provide for significantly more operations and traveler metropolitan area. When transportation management agen- information data than was previously collected. In particular, cies have accurate and updated information about incidents the incident data feed from Phoenix Fire has addressed a sig- affecting their road network, they can better respond to inci- nificant data gap by providing arterial incident data that sup- dent traffic conditions by modifying traffic signal timing plans ports internal operations at the TMC, as well as external traveler or dispatching crews to support incident clearance or detour information functions. In particular, Maricopa County DOT routing. Minimizing the impacts of incident-related conges- relies on incident data from Phoenix Fire to support faster tion provides mobility and safety benefits. mobilization and dispatch of their incident response teams. From a recurring-congestion standpoint, RADS also sup- More reliable information is provided to the traveler through ports more coordinated agency operations for day-to-day travel established AZTech traveler information systems, including conditions. Having access to neighboring jurisdictions' traffic travel times on DMS, 511, web and media alerts, and mobile signal timing plans can support better cross-jurisdictional applications. RADS data also is included as part of the data set signal timing and coordination without compromising each that is available to other private entities who aggregate data agency's control of its signal management systems. This was from available public sector systems and other data sources and an important parameter discussed and agreed on by AZTech then disseminate traveler information through a variety of partners. technology applications. Improved information for traveler information systems also The ability to expand RADS to include data beyond serving supports both nonrecurring and recurring congestion man- as a freeway detector data archive has been a direct result of the agement. Arizona DOT implemented a travel time program collaborative forum of the AZTech partnership. The open plat- that uses RADS to calculate freeway travel times (using real- form as a key requirement of RADS allows it to support multi- time data stored in RADS from the freeway management sys- ple data formats, and does not require agencies to make drastic tem) to display on urban area DMS during morning and changes to their individual policies. Data that the agency selects evening peak travel hours. are sent to RADS rather than to agencies having to establish physical connections directly to another agency, which could require significant development work and could be prohibitive Performance Measures because of agency information technology policies. Maricopa County DOT tracks the number of incidents input Integrating signal timing data into RADS and making these to RADS from the Phoenix Fire CAD on a monthly basis. Inci- available to participating agencies allows agencies to share sig- dent inputs to RADS from this data feed average between nal timing plan information without compromising network 2,500 and 3,000 per month. The Maricopa County DOT has a security, firewalls, or allowing operational control of signals broader performance monitoring program that also tracks the by another entity. Agencies in the Phoenix metropolitan area number of responses of its incident management crews and the operate various traffic control and management systems, and number of incident e-mail alerts distributed to its mailing list, direct interfaces between agencies to share these data are not both of which are dependent on incident information received feasible nor are they an option that agencies are interested from the Phoenix Fire CAD data feed. Data are used to support in exploring. RADS provides a neutral, centralized platform faster mobilization and response of the Maricopa County where agencies can access data. REACT arterial incident-response teams. The RADS serves as the region's data archive and is a Lessons Learned key component of various performance-monitoring efforts through Maricopa County DOT and Arizona DOT. Arizona RADS was able to successfully transition from a single agency DOT tracks detector congestion data and travel times to be able data archive to serve as a regional archive for freeway, arterial, to view mobility trends for urban freeways. Arizona also mon- and incident data largely because of the strong partnerships itors its 511 phone and website activity, and RADS is a key data between state, county, and city AZTech partners. The impor- source for those traveler information systems. Arizona DOT tance of pilot deployments also has been an important sepa- estimates that there are 400 incident messages more per month rator for AZTech programs. The benefits of how advanced broadcast on 511 and www.az511.gov with the addition of the systems can support a range of strategies need to be shared with Phoenix Fire data feed. agency staff and with regional decision makers. System-to-system interfaces are often a roadblock for effec- tive interagency data exchanges. Some AZTech partners were Benefits not supportive of a peer-to-peer system for exchanging real- Maricopa County DOT and Arizona DOT have indicated that time data because their respective internal IT and network the data links and information exchanges enabled through security policies would not be able to implement the desired