T3 Webinar Overview

Smart Traffic Management: Lessons from New York City's Midtown in Motion (MIM) Project

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Date:   April 18, 2013
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.


In summer 2011, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) kicked off the Midtown in Motion (MiM) project.

The purpose of the MiM project is to promote multimodal mobility in the midtown core of Manhattan – a 110 square block area or “zone” from 2nd to 6th Avenues and from 42nd to 57th Streets. The MiM project integrates features of Active Traffic Management (ATM) and the full capabilities of the NYCDOT Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Infrastructure; a recent deployment of advanced solid-state traffic controllers (ASTCs) and a comprehensive network of sensors (e.g. video, microwave, and electronic toll collection readers), a wireless communication system, and the New York City Traffic Control System software system, which manages the project.

The ATM component of the MiM project focuses on using a sensor network to 1) detect developing traffic conditions, 2) present the information to a NYCDOT operator, and 3) respond and recommend signal plan changes to an operator. The MiM project provides signal timing changes on two levels. Level 1 is strategic and implemented by changing signal plans along northern and southern avenue approaches in order to appropriately rebalance traffic entering the MiM zone. Level 2 is more tactical; it is designed to address short term fluctuations of “severe” levels of congestion on competing approaches (including east/west crosstown streets) at critical intersections. Adjustments to the allocation of green time are provided in order to alleviate localized intersection congestion. The signal-timing measures applied by the MiM project complement other efforts by the City of New York to improve traffic operations and safety, including turn bays and split phase signals.

The overall MiM deployment was large-scale and complex, yet highly cost-effective. The incremental investment was less than $2 million.

Evaluation of the project is available and planning for future expansion of the MiM zone is presently underway.

For more information about the New York City Department of Transportation Midtown in Motion project see the following:

Target Audience

The target audience for this webinar includes professionals in traffic management and/or ITS Operations with an interest or responsibility in the design and implementation of an Active Traffic Management process or programs; including but not limited to Traffic Management Center operators/managers; providers of surface transportation systems including consultants and vendors, government officials including local, State, or Federal Departments of Transportation; and any other individuals or entities involved in the design, implementation, or evaluation of Active Traffic Management strategies.

Learning Objectives

  • Introduce the planning, design, implementation, and operation of an Active Traffic Management traffic signal operations system to promote multimodal mobility in a highly urban environment.
  • Develop a strategy for integrating Active Traffic Management and adaptive traffic signal control operations in order to optimize traffic flow, reduce delays and queues, improve air quality, and to enhance pedestrian safety.
  • Establish a long-term vision and identify incremental steps to capture the vast amounts of data to guide the evolution of an Active Traffic Management System.


Arthur T. O'Connor, P.E., Senior ITS/Operations Engineer, US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (New York, NY)

photograph of Arthur O'Connor

Arthur T. O'Connor represents the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in the USDOT New York City Metropolitan Office. He is the Senior ITS/Operations Engineer who is responsible for all facets of the federally funded ITS program throughout the five boroughs of New York City and Long Island. He has been with the Federal Highway Administration for over 25 years. He co-established the New York City Metropolitan Office in late 1996/early 1997 and has spent the last 17 years working very closely with the New York City Department of Transportation on the advancement of numerous ITS/Operations initiatives, including Active Traffic Management, among other partner agencies in the New York metropolitan tri-state region.

Art holds a Master of Science degree in Transportation Planning & Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University in Brooklyn, New York, a Master in Business Administration from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Connecticut and New Jersey and is a Member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), a Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), ITS America, and ITS New York.

Introductory Remarks

Bruce Schaller, Deputy Commissioner for Traffic and Planning, New York City Department of Transportation, (New York, NY)

photograph of Bruce Schaller

Bruce Schaller is Deputy Commissioner for Traffic & Planning at the New York City Department of Transportation. His responsibilities include development and implementation of DOT's innovative, world-class program to enhance the city's bus, bike, pedestrian and truck networks as well as operation of the City's traffic signals, roadway signage and markings, parking meters and street lights.

Prior to coming to coming to DOT in 2007, Mr. Schaller was a consultant on transportation issues, and worked for MTA New York City Transit and several New York City agencies. A 30-year resident of Brooklyn, Mr. Schaller has a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley and a BA from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.


Mohamad Talas, PE, PTOE, PhD, Deputy Director of Systems Engineering, New York City Department of Transportation, (New York, NY)

photograph of Mohamad Talas

Mohamad Talas has over 24 years in Traffic Engineering and Operation experience in New York City Department of Transportation. He currently serves as the Deputy Director for the New York City Department of Transportation System Engineering Division where he supervises the development of all Intelligent Transportation System projects and initiatives currently in progress in New York City. These projects include the development and implementation of the New York City Traffic Computerization System at the Traffic Management Center operating over 9,000 signals, the currently deployed Active Traffic Management System in in Manhattan. He holds a PhD in Transportation Planning at New York University-Poly University, Master Degrees in Transportation Planning and Electrical Engineering and is a member of Intelligent Transportation Systems Advance Transportation Controller National Standards.

John Tipaldo, PhD, Director of Systems Engineering, New York City Department of Transportation, (New York, NY)

photograph of John Tipaldo

Mr. Tipaldo is currently the Director of Systems Engineering for the New York City Department of Transportation. In his current capacity, he is responsible for the operations of the agency's Traffic Management Center. He has held this position for the past 10 years. Prior to this, he has a held a variety of positions within the agency involving traffic operations and engineering.

Mr. Tipaldo is a licensed civil engineer in New York State and has a Ph.D. in Transportation Planning and Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

Satya Muthuswamy, PE, PTOE, President of KLD Engineering, P.C. (New York, NY)

photograph of Satya Muthuswamy

Since joining KLD in 2002, Satya has been working on analysis of traffic operations for many facilities including bridges, tunnels, arterial corridors, markets, and transit operations using simulation models. He has had extensive project management experience in traffic engineering and simulation modeling. Satya has been a lead in the traffic impact work for several power plant construction programs, managing those efforts; he has also been involved in projects related to the development of evacuation time estimates for nuclear facilities. He is a registered professional engineer in the states of New York and Ohio, and holds a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer certificate from the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Satya holds a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and a Masters degree from the University of Minnesota.