T3 Webinar Presentation

RCTOs in Action: Portland, Detroit, Tucson, and Hampton Roads Discuss their Regional Concept for Transportation Operations (July 25, 2007)

An Action Plan to Address Transportation Operations in Southeast Michigan

Presenter:   J. Thomas Bruff
Presenter's Org:   Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG)

HTML version of the presentation
Image descriptions are contained in brackets. [ ]
Back to Webinar Files

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program (ITS PCB) at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)


Slide 1: What is RCTO?

  • Provides a common vision
  • Provides a business plan approach
    • Motivation (Why?)
    • Operations objective (What?)
    • An approach (How?)
    • Resource arrangements, relationships, and procedures

Slide 3:

[Slide displays a map of Michigan, highlighting the southwest counties of St. Clair, Macomb, Oakland, Livingston, Washtenaw, Wayne, and Monroe.]

Slide 4:

[Slide displays the Michigan counties of St. Clair, Macomb, Oakland, Livingston, Washtenaw, Wayne, and Monroe. A star marks the city of Detroit; the total population of these counties is shown as 4.9 million people.]

Slide 5:

[Slide displays a map of the 233 local units of government in the Michigan counties of: St. Clair, Macomb, Oakland, Livingston, Washtenaw, Wayne, and Monroe. Within this region there are 7 county road agencies, 2 Michigan DOT regions, and 227 law enforcement agencies.]

Slide 6: Infrastructure Realities

  • Essential for quality of life and business
  • More efficient
  • Look at all pieces holistically
  • Not enough investment

Slide 7: What do we operate?

Slide 8:

22,800 miles of public road
Over 3,500 bridges
Over 5,400 traffic signals
Over 138,000 crashes
4,884 miles of truck routes
140 million vehicle miles .traveled daily
1,000 miles currently congested

Slide 9: Other Investments

  • Non-motorized
  • Transit
  • Drinking water
  • Sewers
  • Parks
  • Schools

Slide 10: Sources of Congestion: National Summary

[Slide displays a pie chart titled Sources of Congestion: National Summary, from a recent FHWA report. Breakdown of the sources is:]

  • Poor Signal Timing—5%
  • Special Events/Other—5%
  • Bottlenecks—40%
  • Traffic Incidents—25%
  • Work Zones—10%
  • Bad Weather—14%

Slide 11: Transportation Systems Management and Operations

  • Sharing resources
  • Preserving capacity
  • Improving security, safety, reliability
  • Collaborating, coordinating on regional operations

Slide 12: TSM&O Activities

  • Congestion management
  • Traffic incident management
  • Traveler information
  • Electronic payment services (e.g., transit, parking, tolls)
  • Emergency response and homeland security
  • International Border Crossings
  • Traffic signal coordination
  • Road weather management
  • Freight management
  • Work zone traffic management
  • Freeway/arterial management
  • Communications network

Slide 13: Building Upon Past Successes

[This slide shows four images. Clockwise from the top left hand corner they are: emergency crews responding to a traffic accident on an interstate highway, the control room at Michigan's ITS center, Southeast Michigan Snow & Ice Management trucks at work plowing snow and salting a road, and a Michigan DOT Freeway Courtesy Patrol van.]

Slide 14: Purpose of an RCTO

  • Sets direction, purpose
  • Helps bridge differing perspectives, priorities, cultures
  • Clarifies roles, responsibilities, resources
  • Enhances credibility of operations needs
  • Facilitates coordination

Slide 15: Elements of an RCTO

  • Regional operations vision
  • Operations objectives
  • Physical improvements (approach)
  • Relationships and procedures
  • Resource arrangements

Slide 16: Southeast Michigan RCTO-Vision

"Southeast Michigan will have reliable and managed transportation operations across jurisdictional, geographic and modal boundaries for both routine traffic operations and traffic incident management that saves lives, time, and money for its travelers."

Slide 17: Proposed Operations Network

[This slide displays the proposed Metro Detroit Regional Operations network. The chart shows a collection of connected circles, each circle representing services, and most services represented by existing working groups (with the exception of Maintenance and Communications). The center circle is named "Regional Operations Steering Committee." Seven circles (services) are connected to the center circle. They are Maintenance, Communications (Urban Area Security Initiative, PSAPs [Public Safety Answering Points] ), Arterial (Operations) Traffic Management, Traffic Incident Management Planning, Freeway Operations, Transit Operations, Border Operations. Three additional services are connected to Freeway Operations: Special Events, Courtesy Patrol, and Abandoned Vehicles. One additional service is connected to Maintenance: SEMSIM (Southeastern Michigan Snow and Ice Management). Two additional services are connected to Arterial (Operations) Traffic Management: Vehicle Infrastructure Integration and Traffic Signal Coordination.]

Slide 18: How Do We Achieve This?

  • Identify, communicate expectations
  • Unprecedented levels of coordination
  • Promote regional partnerships/cooperation
  • Achieving the vision through commitment

Slide 19: Top Stakeholder Suggestions

  • Identify arterial streets as priority corridors
  • Retime traffic signals regularly
  • Disseminate operations information
  • Clearing incidents quickly and safely

Slide 20: Criteria for Identifying Priority Corridors

  • Initial recommendations provided during stakeholder interviews
  • Other possible criteria:
    • Borders multiple communities
    • Evacuation routes
    • Alternatives (detours) to the freeway system
    • Functional classification/traffic volumes

Slide 21: National Traffic Signal Report Card by NTOC

  • Traffic signals are not operating as efficiently as they could be;
  • Poor signal progression leads to unnecessary delays;
  • Frequent stops and starts also negatively impact the air we breath; and
  • More fuel is consumed.

[This slide displays a graphic depicting the National Traffic Signal Report Card. The grades indicated are:]

  • Proactive Management: F
  • Signal Operations in Coordinated Systems: D-
  • Signal Operations at Individual Intersections: C-
  • Detection Systems: F
  • Maintenance: D+
  • OVERALL: D-

Slide 22: Clearing Incidents Quickly and Safety: Quick Clearance Laws Needed

  • Driver Removal Law
  • Authority Removal Law
  • Hold Harmless Law

Slide 23: Disseminating Operations Information

[Slides displays two: One is a screen shot of Michigan DOT's (MDOT) video monitor website, displaying real time traffic conditions on two sections of interstate, and the other image is of the MDOT Michigan ITS Center Control Room.]

Slide 24: Balancing Team-Members' Goals

  • Transportation agencies limited by mode and jurisdiction
  • Enforcement agencies concerned with lowering crime statistics
  • Public safety agencies concerned with crash scene management

Slide 25: Flexibility is Key!

  • Many organizational structures
  • Many budgeting approaches
  • Many operational procedures
  • Many ways of measuring performance

Slide 26: For More Information

SEMCOG's Web site www.semcog.org

Contact SEMCOG at 313-961-4266
Ms. Wei Chen, Transportation Engineer, wchen@semcog.org
Mr. Tom Bruff, Transportation Coordinator, bruff@semcog.org

Next >>  The Hampton Roads Experience

back to top