T3 Webinar Overview

Getting Incident Management Countermeasures into the Plan: Integrating Incident Management Countermeasures into Transportation Planning and Congestion Management Processes

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Originally presented under the title: Traffic Incident Management Plans in Southeast Michigan and Southeastern Wisconsin: Institutional and Technical Challenges to Managing Congestion and Improving Responder Safety

Date:   September 11, 2008
Time:  1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Cost:  All T3 webinars are free of charge
PDH:  1.5   View PDH Policy

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). Reference in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by U.S. Department of Transportation.


Congestion is one of the greatest threats to our nation's economy. We've all heard the old saying "Time Is Money". Well, never has it been as true as it is today, given the significant rise in gas prices. Nationwide, drivers waste nearly 4 billion hours of time and over 2 billion gallons of fuel each year, by sitting idle or inching forward in traffic jams. This results in significant increases in emission levels as well. Businesses lose an estimated $200 billion per year due to congestion, which delays freight delivery.

Despite the cost of gas, travelers are generally understanding of and can accept the reality of recurring congestion that would be typical of the morning and afternoon rush periods in urban areas. They might also understand that their trip during these periods might take several minutes longer than at other times of the day. However, they would not be too tolerant if that same trip takes significantly longer than expected due to congestion caused by a disabled vehicle, unscheduled construction or maintenance activities, or a traffic accident (no matter how major or minor). Studies have shown that unexpected or non-recurring congestion accounts for about 50 to 60 percent of all congestion on our nation's roadways, and half of that total is generally attributable to traffic incidents.

Incident Management is the art and challenge of clearing traffic incidents quickly and safely. Incident Management has the potential to significantly reduce the amount and duration of congestion. While not the subject of today's webinar, Incident Management also provides the "foundation" for larger, planned events like the Super Bowl, All Star, and Stanley Cup games, as well as serious emergency events such as weather evacuations and other catastrophes. Detroit, MI and Milwaukee, WI are just two areas that are progressively developing strategies to integrate Incident Management countermeasures into their Transportation Planning and Congestion Management Processes, in an effort to mitigate traffic congestion due to non-recurring causes such as crashes, disabled vehicles, work zones, adverse weather events, and planned special events.

In this T3 webinar, Wisconsin's State Traffic Engineer John Corbin will provide an overview of the National Unified Goal (NUG) for Traffic Incident Management, Tom Bruff from the Detroit area Metropolitan Planning Organization will provide details on Traffic Incident Management Plans in place for the Detroit/Southeast Michigan area, and Steve Cyra of HNTB (under contract to the Wisconsin DOT) will present on how Traffic Incident Management in Southern Wisconsin is being deployed.

Target Audience

Transportation Planners, Traffic and Safety Engineers, Law Enforcement Personnel and Emergency Responders will benefit from this T3 Webinar on Traffic Incident Management.

Learning Objectives


Morrie Hoevel, FHWA Michigan Division Office
Morrie is the Urban Mobility Engineer in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Michigan Division Office. Morrie has been with the FHWA for over 35 years and has held positions as Traffic and Safety Engineer, Area Engineer and Urban Planner during his 30 years of service in the Michigan Division Office. Morrie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. He is active in the state chapters of ITS and ITE.

In his current position Morrie has primary responsibility for the Intelligent Transportation Systems Program in the state and is transitioning to a more broad-spectrum Systems Operations and Management focus which includes ITS, Traffic Operations, Work Zone Mobility and Freight Operations. Morrie has been directly involved with the Incident Management Program and incident response initiatives in Michigan over the last 15 years. Morrie has also been working with the Michigan Division Office Planning staff to improve the linkage between planning and operations in order to deliver traffic management and traveler information services, especially those needed during periods of non-recurring congestion such as special events and traffic incidents. J. Thomas Bruff, Coordinator/Senior Engineer, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG).


John Corbin, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
John is the state traffic engineer for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), and has also served as a Freeway Operations Engineer and Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Manager in the metropolitan Milwaukee area. Prior to joining the Wisconsin DOT 15 years ago, he worked as a traffic control engineer for the City of Milwaukee, and as a construction engineer for the Illinois DOT.

John completed his undergraduate work in transportation engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1986, and obtained a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering through the University of Illinois-Chicago and UW-Madison. He also has a certificate in public administration from UW-Milwaukee, is a registered professional engineer in Wisconsin, and a certified professional traffic operations engineer nationally.

John chairs the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers Traffic Incident Management Committee as a fellow member of the Institute. John also chairs the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition, and the Traffic Incident Management Task Force of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers Traffic Operations Committee, the TRB Freeway Operations Committee, the IEEE Incident Management Working Group, the ITS America Public Safety Forum, and the U.S. DOT Public Safety Advisory Group. John is also involved in his community, serving on the City of Brookfield's master planning task force and greenway bicycle and pedestrian path committee.

J. Thomas Bruff, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG)
J. Thomas is coordinator/senior engineer for Engineering Services, Transportation Programs of SEMCOG. He has had 21 years of experience in various areas of traffic engineering and transportation planning. Since 1997, Mr. Bruff has worked for SEMCOG as the engineering services coordinator of SEMCOG's Transportation Department. Prior work experience includes 10 years with the Road Commission of Macomb County in Michigan as their traffic and safety engineer.

He has been responsible for managing the activities of the engineering services group, which include development of SEMCOG's regional safety, congestion, pavement, and bridge management systems and maintaining the regional ITS architecture. He was the primary staff person in charge of developing the region's concept for transportation operations (RCTO), one of three Federal Highway Administration grant recipients nationally. SEMCOG's RCTO was recognized by FHWA, FTA, and APA by awarding them one of the 2008 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards. J. Thomas is active in the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Engineering Society of Detroit, and ITS Michigan. He obtained his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University (1986).

Steve Cyra, HNTB Corporation
Steve Cyra is a Fellow with the HNTB Corporation and also serves as their Traffic Operations Practice Leader. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he is a registered PE and PTOE and has over 22 years of private and public-sector experience. For the last 13 years, he has served as the consultantís Project Manager for the TIME Program. TIME, an ITS America Best-Of Award Winner, is a statewide, comprehensive traffic incident management program in Wisconsin. Additionally, Steve is supporting multiple other incident management initiatives and ITS projects from around the country. Mr. Cyra represents ITE on the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition and is chair of ITE's M&O/ITS Council.