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66 functionality. To address this, RADS was established as a neu- not all agencies are at the same level of system implementa- tral data repository, and allowed for agencies to share data tion, which also limits some agencies' accessibility to RADS. without compromising individual networks and firewalls. This Having some successful early adopters has helped to demon- was an important issue for agencies to be able to communicate strate the benefits that the RADS and center-to-center con- to their internal divisions about the security requirements that cepts can achieve. were being addressed. Because partners were brought together Incremental build-out of system functionality has allowed to discuss requirements and concerns from each agency's per- for increasingly greater focus toward broader system improve- spective, they were able to address these requirements and ments, such as corridor travel time reliability, multiagency concerns during the concept of operations development, incident response and management, and provision of more which ultimately became part of the AZTech partner agree- comprehensive and accurate traveler information through the ment. From there, requirements were developed to address public and private sector systems. operational, functional, and security issues. Enabling agencies to interface with RADS would also require modifications to California: San Pablo Avenue their existing systems, which required agencies to coordinate Signal Retiming Project with their respective system vendors to complete the interface to RADS. The San Pablo Avenue Corridor is one of three main arterial Representatives from National ITS Standards Committees corridors identified as part of the SMART Corridor Program. were involved to ensure adherence to national standards. Dur- Retiming on the corridor was funded through the Metropoli- ing the requirements development process, it was revealed that tan Transportation Commission (MTC) Regional Signal Tim- the current standards did not achieve a level of messaging secu- ing Program (RSTP). This corridor was selected as a case study rity that was needed by the AZTech partners. Not only did the based on the multiple-agency support of the program and its protocol developed for the RADS center-to-center informa- successful integration across several jurisdictions along the cor- tion exchanges incorporate updated security requirements for ridor. The RSTP has been in place for more than 15 years and web services security, but the effort for the RADS center-to- provides funding for local agencies to develop and implement center project also provided input to the update of the NTCIP timing plans with the help of RSTP consultants under contract 2306 standard (Web Services Center-to-Center Communica- with MTC. The SMART Corridor Program is a regional ini- tions Standard) (5). tiative to assemble stakeholders from several local agencies to focus on improving congestion along three major arterial cor- ridors. The Alameda County Congestion Management Associ- Analysis and Research Observations ation (ACCMA) is closely involved with the SMART Corridor The institutional framework established by the AZTech part- Program and led the application effort to retime the San Pablo nership has been the key contributor to implementing systems Avenue Corridor using the RSTP as a funding mechanism. At such as the RADS and to advancing and elevating multiagency the time of this publication, the RSTP program was ending at collaboration for traffic management and incident response in MTC and was to be replaced by the Program for Arterial Sys- the Phoenix metro area. Involving important partner agen- tem Synchronization (PASS). PASS functions in a similar man- cies in concept development--including state, county, and ner to the RSTP by providing technical and financial assistance local agencies and law enforcement/public safety--has led to to local agencies to support signal timing and arterial corridor stronger awareness of the potential system capabilities, as well operations (6). as buy-in at strategic points in the development process. The Representatives from MTC and their consultant firm were structure does not prescribe specific technologies or strategies contacted to discuss project specifics and to better understand that work well for some partners but not all; rather, it allows for the process and procedures in place with the SMART Corridor collaborative decision making and provides for adjustments Program and the RSTP. Jeff Georgevich and Vamsi Tabjulu that are needed for specific requests or needs. were contacted from MTC. Georgevich was involved with the To date, not all agencies in the AZTech partnership have development of the original RSTP and has been involved been able to participate in some of the information-sharing throughout the program. Tabjulu has recently taken the aspects of the regional operations strategy, largely because of responsibility of overseeing the RSTP. Brian Sowers, from the different levels of maturity of the individual agency sys- MTC's consultant team, has been involved with the RSTP since tems. In some cases, minimal modifications are required for its inception and was responsible for developing the signal tim- agency systems to interface with the centralized AZTech sys- ing plans on the San Pablo Avenue Corridor project. These tems (such as the RADS); for others, more extensive develop- three representatives provided firsthand knowledge about both ment is needed. The region includes several growing cities, so San Pablo Avenue Corridor programs.

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67 Description coverage area includes 24 transit agencies, eight of which are considered major players in the regional transportation system. The San Pablo Avenue Corridor case study focuses on a multi- The East Bay SMART Corridor Program includes three agency approach to the development of a corridor signal tim- major arterial corridors in the eastern portion of the San Fran- ing plan. The corridor runs through multiple jurisdictions, cisco Bay area with various stakeholders, including ACCMA. includes traffic signals on municipal and Caltrans roadways, ACCMA was established in 1995 and has been heavily involved and required coordination across 13 different agencies. The with the San Pablo Avenue Corridor Retiming project. The development of the signal timing plan was funded by the MTC relationships established through CMA have made the process RSTP and was led by ACCMA. The corridor also included of defining and implementing multiagency transportation proj- transit signal priority for the Alameda Contra Costa Transit ects more efficient and effective for all participants involved. District and AC Transit. The corridor consists of 13 mi of San Pablo Avenue from 17th Street in the city of Oakland to Highway 4 in the city of Hercules. Process Development A portion of the corridor is signed State Route 123 and is main- tained by Caltrans. The other portions of the corridor traverse The SMART Corridor Program identified San Pablo Avenue as through 10 local-agency jurisdictions. Three of the agencies a key corridor with the need for a revised signal timing plan. have Caltrans-maintained signals, and three have Contra Costa ACCMA successfully applied for the RSTP funds to revise the Countymaintained signals. Caltrans and Contra Costa County San Pablo Avenue signal timing plan. also maintain signals under their respective jurisdictions. Other As part of the RSTP, MTC advertises a call for projects from agencies involved include ACCMA and the West Contra Costa the local agencies in late summer to fall. Each of the local agen- County Transportation Advisory Committee (WCCTAC). cies coordinates and submits applications to the RSTP. To promote multiagency coordination, applications with multi- ple jurisdictions receive higher recognition. The application Background of Agency also requires data such as crash rates and integration with tran- MTC was created by the state legislature in 1970 to provide sit. Based on previous evaluations and information submitted transportation planning for the nine-county San Francisco from the applying agencies, MTC also strives to pair the most Bay Area. MTC is three agencies in one with a shared mission: effective applicant and consultant partnership. Once selected, to keep the Bay Area moving. MTC, along with Bay Area Toll the applying agency also can declare consultants with whom Authority (BATA) and Service Authority for Freeways and they prefer or prefer not to work. Expressways (SAFE), is directed by a 19-member policy board. The corridor is selected and a consultant is assigned; the The RSTP developed by the Highway and Arterial Operations consultant then takes the lead in the development of the sig- (HAO) section of MTC supports the efforts to improve the nal timing plan. The first step is a kickoff meeting with all the operations, safety, and management of the Bay Area's arterial participating agencies. MTC remains involved only to the level network. Through the RSTP, MTC provides support to hire, needed for success of the project. If necessary, MTC can serve fund, and manage performance monitoring on behalf of the as a facilitator between the consultant and the applicant group local agencies. Through the application process, MTC encour- or between local agencies participating in the retiming. MTC ages multiagency coordination for consistency among neigh- maintains a 2-year contract with all the consultants. All the boring jurisdictions. MTC's primary goal through the RSTP is firms receive the same total dollar amount of work during to optimize signal coordination through effective partnerships the first year of the contract; however, during the second year, between multiple entities. MTC oversees the program and can the selection is based on past reviews and the preference of the act as a facilitator when needed, but primarily uses the exper- local agencies. tise of consultants to address technical issues, develop, imple- In some cases, MTC will hire a second consultant to review ment and fine-tune the new timing plans. the project if the local agency does not have an engineer on staff, There are approximately 100 counties and cities within the such as with a smaller agency. MTC is often more involved in MTC jurisdiction. Twelve jurisdictions have populations of these projects than those reviewed by the local agency. more than 100,000, while approximately 37 of the jurisdictions The consultant will work with each of the participating have populations fewer than 25,000. Approximately two-thirds agencies through the development of the signal timing plans. of the agencies have participated in the RSTP to gain funding Since the agencies follow various standards and guidelines for signal timing plans. Several of the agencies are smaller for timing plans, MTC generally does not comment on the organizations with little or no engineering staff or resour- specifics of the timing plans. MTC believes that the primary ces. Several of the agencies have implemented emergency vehi- responsibility for the operation of streets and roads and the cle preemption and transit priority technologies. The MTC retiming of traffic signals on arterials resides with the agency

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68 that owns them. Once the timing plans are developed, the and implementing projects that improve the major arterials consultant will continue to work with each of the agencies on identified in Phase I. The San Pablo Avenue project followed the implementation of the plans. With more experienced con- this established process. sultants, the relationships and trust between the consultants The consultant organizes and conducts a kickoff meeting and local agencies are well established. This trust is key when with all participating agencies. At the kickoff meeting, data col- moving into the implementation phase of a project. Typically, lection, schedule, deliverables, and budget are discussed. All the the projects will last approximately 12 months but can extend specific project details are discussed using the RSTP program longer. Projects also can be divided into groups for more com- guidelines as the baseline. The consultant completes an in- plex projects involving a large number of signals and multiple depth analysis of the existing conditions on the project corri- agencies. dor. The development of the new signal timing plan begins after grouping the signals into logical segments. The consultant also coordinates with transit agencies that operate on the cor- Detailed Process and Integration Points ridor for transit signal priority, if included in the project. The Figure 7.2 shows the process used by MTC for corridor signal consultant develops recommendations for the revised signal retiming. The SMART Corridor Program (SCP) is conducted timing plans and submits the timing plans to the project team through regularly scheduled meetings focused on developing for comments. Figure 7.2. Detailed business process diagram of MTC corridor signal retiming.

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69 Agencies located along each segment review the signal tim- metropolitan planning organizations (MPO), local agencies ing plans and provide comments to the consultant. If necessary, (cities, municipalities, and towns), Caltrans, consultants, MTC facilitates discussions between the consultant and partic- emergency responders, and transit agencies. The San Pablo ipating agencies. The consultant coordinates with each of the Avenue case study involved 13 of these various agencies. Three agencies to resolve comments and revise the recommendations. multiagency organizations also were involved with the project: Once the signal timing plans are complete, the consultant works ACCMA, the SMART Corridor Program, and the MTC RSTP. with each agency to implement the timing plans. ACCMA took the lead through the application process A final report is prepared including the recommendations, with the RSTP. Through the relationships developed with the the implementation process, and measured improvements on SMART Corridor Program, ACCMA was able to represent the corridor. The final report is submitted to MTC, which the interests of all the agencies involved with the identified compiles the benefit-cost analysis from all completed projects section of San Pablo Avenue. ACCMA understood the appli- into an annual report. The annual report is then submitted to cation process and was able to provide relevant crash data, dis- the Operations Committee of MTC and FHWA. play existing multiagency partnerships, and speak to other key Several key integration points were identified in the MTC requirements of the funding program. corridor signal retiming process, including the following: It was necessary to involve several local agencies with the San Pablo Avenue Corridor retiming project. The consultant took The SMART Corridor Program is the first integration point the lead in coordinating the interests of each agency during the that fed into the success of the corridor timing project. development and implementation of the signal timing plan. The strong relationships developed through these regu- Because all 13 mi of the corridor did not directly affect each larly scheduled meetings paved the way for successful part- agency, the consultant was able to segment the corridor into nerships and well-developed timing plans for the San Pablo smaller sections and work closely with just the agencies affected Avenue corridor that passes through various jurisdictions. by each segment. This minimized the time commitment from The consultant submits the signal timing plans to each of the each agency and streamlined the review and implementation local agencies involved. If needed, MTC can facilitate com- process for the whole corridor. ments on the signal timing plans. This integration between Upon completion of the signal timing plans, each agency the consultant and every one of the local agencies further was required to implement the plans within its jurisdiction. improves the final plan. The agencies' involvement with the SMART Corridor Pro- The consultant coordinates directly with each agency to gram and their review of the signal timing plans allowed them implement the final signal timing plans. The close coor- to trust the quality of the final plans. Moreover, the relation- dination during the implementation further develops the ship established with the consultant during plan development trust between the consultant and every one of the agencies formed a foundation of trust so the agency could feel comfort- involved. able relying on the consultant during implementation. At the conclusion of the signal timing plan implementation, a summary report of the process is required by MTC. MTC Types of Nonrecurring Congestion Addressed compiles all the final reports into an annual report docu- menting the impacts of the program on the arterials and The San Pablo Corridor project was directly focused on regional network. addressing recurring congestion but has indirect impacts on several nonrecurring congestion types. The improved corri- At the conclusion of each signal timing project, the consult- dor timing plans will maximize the corridor capacity during ants submit a final report stating the various benefits achieved normal operating procedures. Phase I of the SMART Cor- by the implementation of the project. These reports are assem- ridor Program focused on improving arterial mobility and bled into a single RSTP annual report. The report includes safety; however, the current phase of the program is focused information regarding which projects were completed. It cap- on interstates and will identify solutions for incident manage- tures the improvements to travel times, fuel savings, and emis- ment strategies that use the complete transportation network. sions reduction for the corridor and the region. The report The relationships and improved signal timing plans on all the captures the overall benefit-cost ratio of the implemented proj- major arterials will improve the travel time reliability during ects. Past evaluations of the RSTP indicate a 35:1 benefit-cost those scenarios. ratio (7). In addition, the emergency vehicle preemption will mini- mize impacts on travel times during major incidents that require emergency management or first responders to easily Types of Agencies Involved access all segments of the corridor. The quicker these vehicles The types of agencies involved with the San Pablo Avenue arrive at the scene of an incident, the quicker they can clear Corridor Signal Retiming case study included the regional the incident and return traffic operations to normal.

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70 Finally, the use of transit signal priority improves the travel scenarios has better benefits compared with a single, all-day time reliability for the transit users along these corridors. Tran- plan. These three scenarios also encourage coordination across sit signal priority only elongates the green phase when transit jurisdictional boundaries, most importantly with signals man- vehicles are behind schedule. Therefore, it will improve the aged by Caltrans at the freeway ramps. timeliness of the bus arrivals for delayed vehicles and minimize The largest impacts of the program are quantified at a the interruption to normal signal operations by only affecting regional level. Each of the corridors has shown increases in its the green phase. capacity and travel time reliability, but assembling the regional benefits demonstrates the true impacts of the program. MTC has seen a 10% improvement in travel time for the region. Performance Measures From a regional view, the 10% improvement on travel time for Several performance measures are used to determine the suc- a 60-min trip across the region for multiple vehicles is a greater cess of the RSTP and the improvements experienced on the San impact than a 10% improvement for a single vehicle making a Pablo Avenue corridor. As mentioned, a final report for each 10-min trip on one corridor. The 2004 annual report stated a project is required and provides several performance measures 13% improvement in travel time and a 13% decrease in fuel that demonstrate project success. Travel time improvements, consumption. The latest report shows an improvement of 10% fuel savings, emissions reductions, and an overall benefit-cost in travel time and 10% increase in speed. These benefits take ratio are recorded for each project funded by the RSTP. These into account the 5-year life cycle of a signal timing project, with measures indicate how the public will judge the project and, benefits accruing at 100% on the first day after implementation indirectly, how the public will support similar projects in the and gradually decreasing to an average of 90% of benefits for future. Year 1, 70% for Year 2, 50% for Year 3, 30% for Year 4, and The ultimate success of a project is directly related to the 10% for Year 5. General methodology of the benefit-cost analy- performance of the project team; therefore, how the team sis, fuel consumption factors, and health costs of motor vehi- interacts and trusts each partner is important. As such, it is cle emissions are based on Caltrans's Life-Cycle Benefit-Cost extremely important that the project team communicate and Analysis Model (8). coordinate throughout the project. The method of selecting Another benefit seen by MTC is an increase in the number lead consultants based on the evaluation of their previous work of consultants with experience and expertise in signal timing. has proven to be successful. This evaluation stage of the process The consistent level of work generated in the region has is important for several reasons. From a technical standpoint, increased the consultants' familiarity with regional traffic pat- consultants who demonstrate minimal knowledge of signal terns and they are able to create and implement more effective timing can be excluded from future work. From a coordination timing plans. This increase in players from the consultants' standpoint, consultants who are difficult to work with also may aspect has provided a more competitive environment. not be engaged in future corridors. The ability of the agency to emphasize its preference for a particular consultant sets up Lessons Learned each project for greater success and minimizes the cost to the program and users. The region has faced several technological and institutional obstacles during the development and continued management of the RSTP and SMART Corridor program. All these difficul- Benefits ties can be linked to lack of effective communication. Effective The RSTP and SMART Corridor programs provide several communication fosters stronger relationships between organi- benefits in addition to the 35:1 benefit-cost ratio previously zations, which results in more efficient operations and project stated. Several agencies with limited engineering staff have development. From a technical standpoint, effective commu- access to funds and proven consultants to assist in designing nication improves trust in the field equipment and expands and implementing signal timing plans. The regional support the capabilities of the overall system. Consistent results expe- also provides resources for applying for and managing the rienced from reliable communication between personnel to process. Some of the larger agencies actually use the RSTP as personnel; field equipment to field equipment; and personnel a consistent strategy for timing their arterials, thereby benefit- to field equipment has established a well-integrated regional ing the region with improved throughput. timing plan. In addition to providing the funding for the plan develop- The most effective means of coordinating traffic signals at ment, MTC also coordinates with local agencies on their needs. intersections within several different jurisdictions is the instal- They can recommend either a.m., midday, or p.m. timing plans lation of a GPS/time clock. The use of the time clock eliminates instead of a single, all-day plan. Because the commute patterns the need for interconnection between the signals. Despite the are different during various times of the day, retiming all three effectiveness gained by the installation of the time clock,