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20 Table 2.2. Systems Operations Benefits Energy/Environmental Benefits and BenefitCost Ratios Safety Impact Mobility Impact Impact Traffic incident management Incident duration reduced 3050% High High High · Safety service patrols 2:1 to 42:1 High High High · Surveillance and detection 8:1 High High High Road weather information systems 2:1 to 10:1; crash rates reduced High High High from 780% Traveler information dynamic 3% decrease in crashes; Low High Low message signs 515% improvement in on-time performance Work zone management 2:1 to 40:1; system delays reduced High Medium Medium up to 50% Active Traffic Management Throughput increased by 37%; High High Medium decrease in incidents of 330% Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, 2009. Best practice indicates that important improvements in sys- progress with only nominal SO&M applications. In many tem reliability depend largely on the noncapital, noncapacity states, some ITS technology has been deployed, but there is measures that are at the core of SO&M, and that this is an a limited commitment to the improvement and implementa- arena in which transportation agencies can make significant tion of the procedures and development of the partnerships gains even as travel demand grows--despite current financial required to capitalize on the technology. Even within individual and construction constraints. Furthermore, the barriers are states, the levels of application are uneven across metropolitan no longer technical, since most SO&M strategies, systems, areas, reflecting the limited commitment at the statewide and technologies are well understood, even commoditized. policy level. What appears to be lacking are features that are normal for Furthermore, the level of investment seems to be plateauing. other transportation agency (state or local) core programs, For example, according to the Texas Transportation Institute such as construction and maintenance (e.g., comprehensive 2009 Urban Mobility Report, only 74 of 90 cities surveyed plans and programs, effective technical processes, consistent have an incident management activity--covering on aver- technology, and robust performance orientation). As can be age less than two-thirds of the highway system. Figure 2.2 seen in construction and maintenance, these basic business indicates the deployment level of basic ITS systems in the processes must be supported by a clear mission commitment, top 70 metropolitan areas as determined by a 2008 Bureau visible leadership, organizational alignment, technical capaci- of Transportation Statistics survey (U.S. Department of ties, aligned partnerships, and a supportive professional culture. Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Admin- In this project, these nontechnical considerations are defined istration, 2009b). From an investment point of view, few states as the institutional architecture. spend as much as 2% of their total DOT budgets on SO&M and, even in those states, recent financial shortfalls have led The Level of SO&M Deployment to program cuts in some of the most cost-effective activities Related to NRC such as safety service patrols. Meanwhile, the gap between both RC and NRC, and trans- Over the last 15 years, many states have built transportation portation agency efforts to manage that congestion and asso- management centers (TMCs), installed ITS technologies ciated disruptions, is growing. over increasing segments of their major networks, deployed safety service patrols, and developed interagency approaches Commitment to to incident management and traveler information. Several Improving SO&M states have established benchmarks for the state of the prac- tice in certain of the basic NRC-oriented strategy applications It is apparent that the larger transportation agencies--especially (see Table 2.3). state DOTs--exhibit a strong capital program orientation with Nevertheless, the state of the practice is uneven. Several a civil engineering culture, organizational structure, internal states with major metropolitan congestion have made modest business processes, and resources that have evolved to support
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21 Table 2.3. Examples of Institutional Best Practice · An increasing number of states have quick clearance laws to support the removal of stopped vehicles from obstructing the road. Florida DOT (FDOT), for example, carried out an aggressive statewide campaign of signage, radio spots, billboards, and brochures to inform the public about the law and its benefits. · Both the FDOT Rapid Incident Scene Clearance (RISC) program and Georgia DOT Towing and Recovery Incentive Program (TRIP) are public private partnerships that use both incentive payments and disincentive liquidated damages to ensure shortened clearance times for heavy vehicle wrecks; these programs have reduced the average clearance times by 100%. · Oregon DOT has used a set of unique contractor requirements (staged tow trucks, traffic supervision, and public advisories) as part of effective work zone traffic control. · Detroit metropolitan area transportation agencies are part of a regional multiagency coalition that tracks and manages weather problems and treatment strategies, including flexible inter-jurisdictional boundaries for efficient operations. · The 16-state I-95 Corridor Coalition has supported an operations academy, which is a 2-week residential program designed to provide middle and upper managers in state DOTs with a thorough grounding in various aspects of SO&M state of the practice. · The Maryland DOT Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART) program is a formal, multiyear budgeted ITS and operations program with an advisory board that provides oversight and strategic direction. It is chaired by the deputy administrator/chief engineer for operations and including district engineers, the director of the Office of Traffic and Safety, the director of the Office of Maintenance, the Maryland State Police, the Maryland Transportation Authority, the Federal Highway Administration, the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Transportation Technology, and various local governments. · Washington State DOT (WSDOT) has formalized interactions among units and managers involved in its SO&M program. TMC managers from around the state meet every 6 weeks to coordinate with regional Incident Response Program managers, who in turn meet quarterly for operations coordination with the state patrol. TMC managers and incident response managers coordinate activities and issues by meeting with the statewide traffic engineers group and the maintenance engineers group. · The Oregon Transportation Commission moved some capacity funding to the operations program to create an Operations Innovation Program that awards funding to projects selected on a competitive basis for their potential to demonstrate innovative operations concepts related to congestion mitigation and freight mobility. · Virginia DOT has reorganized its senior management to include a deputy director for operations and maintenance responsible for all SO&M activities, as well as maintenance resources. · WSDOT has made a strong and transparent commitment to performance measurement as evidenced by the quarterly Gray Notebook, which tracks performance based on five WSDOT legislative goals, including mobility/congestion, and includes regular updates on progress in the application of operations strategies such as incident management and HOT lanes. capacity development and maintenance. This orientation improvements in technology, process, and outcomes. Over is strongly supported by external constituencies and by a the past several decades, transportation agency management near-complete span of control over the resources necessary has subjected both the project development process and asset to deliver on-time and on-budget capital and maintenance management to self-conscious and deliberate reengineering programs. This is not a reflection of transportation agency that has supported continuous improvement in competencies, competence. For example, on average, state DOTs manage efficiency, and effectiveness. By contrast, SO&M has not yet large programs with complex processes and make continuous evolved the same kind of tailored program, business processes, 60 Fwy Service Patrol 50 VMS 40 Safety Service Patrol Arterial Surveillance/Detctn 30 Traffic Info Dissemination 20 Closed Loop Signalization 10 0 1997 2002 2007 Color version of this figure: www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/165285.aspx. Figure 2.2. Percentage of relevant deployment in urban areas.