IN THIS CASE STUDY YOU WILL LEARN:
- How North Florida implemented a Regional Transportation Management Center as part of their TSMO implementation.
- How the Regional Transportation Management Center (RTMC) incorporated Integrated Corridor Management into their TSMO strategy.
- How the RTMC had successful outcomes in efforts including installing new ITS devices along arterial roadways, management of parallel corridors, truck height detection and warnings, and truck parking assistance.
The North Florida Regional Transportation Management Center (RTMC) efforts began in 2004 as part of then Governor Bush’s Growth Initiative Plan. This Center was to house multiple agencies and act as a Hub to propel Northeast Florida into the forefront of the TSMO world with information sharing, utilization of the latest technologies, enhanced incident management and a true multimodal approach to doing business. The effort was started and stopped numerous times due to funding constraints; however, in 2012 the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) entered the partnership and contributed $12M to get the project off the ground. Design was completed in 2013, ground broke at the end of 2014 and the North Florida RTMC went live in November of 2015. The RTMC Project proves to be the backbone for collaboration, testing, integration and implementation of numerous TSMO initiatives.
TSMO Planning, Strategies, and Deployment
The Florida Strategic Plan, paired with the new RTMC, gave District 2 the foundation and partnerships to expand the TSMO Program and make a significant impact on the community. With a realigned approach to operating and managing a multimodal transportation network in real-time, congestion problems were identified and solutions were vetted for ITS, signal system control and other management and operational strategies to respond to the ongoing issues and challenges in Northeast Florida.
District 2’s key focus areas included a multimodal approach while leveraging their partnerships and the RTMC as a technology and operations Hub. The key focus areas include:
- Traffic Signal Operations
- Intelligent Transportation Systems
- Incident Management
- Sea Ports
- Outer Space
Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) strategy was put into place in order to arrive at effective collaboration on these key focus areas. For instance, transportation corridors often contain underutilized capacity in the form of parallel roadways, single-occupant vehicles, and transit services that could be better leveraged to improve vehicle throughput and reduce congestion. Facilities and services on a corridor are often independently operated, and to date, efforts to reduce congestion have focused primarily on the optimization of the performance of individual assets.
The vision of ICM is that transportation networks will realize significant improvements in the efficient movement of people and goods through institutional collaboration and aggressive, proactive integration of existing infrastructure along major corridors. Through an ICM approach, transportation professionals manage the corridor as a multimodal system and make operational decisions to benefit the corridor as a whole.
Outcome, Learnings, and Public Benefit
The goal of any deployment is to consider the citizens. Efforts targeted improved safety, travel time reliability, capacity management, cost savings, reduced emissions, real-time traveler information and enhanced incident response by focusing on key strategies. Key areas with successful outcomes included new ITS devices along arterial roadways, management of parallel corridors, truck height detection and warnings and truck parking assistance.
FDOT District 2 deployed ITS devices along arterial roadways to be monitored via the RTMC. The current ITS system allows RTMC Operators to monitor the ITS devices along these roadways and post traffic information to Arterial Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), Highway Advisory Radios, and the statewide 511 System to warn motorists of incidents or to provide them with other important traveler information. The Florida Statewide RTMC Operations Software, SunGuide®, was upgraded in 2017 to include the capability to integrate ATMS.now traffic signal software which allows the RTMC operators to change signal timing plans.
To generate signal timing plans, FDOT and City of Jacksonville collaborated to devise various scenarios and throughput needs. Once plans were agreed upon, they were configured on the required traffic controllers and tested with fleet vehicles during off peak periods. The RTMC houses both parties allowing for on-the-fly signal timing changes, and collaboration with law enforcement allows for expedited response and shifting of officers from signalized intersection control to other duties.
There are three levels of emergency signal timing plans available for the RTMC Operators to utilize, Minor, Moderate and Severe, which implement appropriate changes to the plans to allow increased traffic flow along major arterial roadways.
I-95/US-1 and I-10/US-90 Implementation
To assist with the management of parallel corridors I-95/ US-1 and I-10/US-90, numerous scenarios were evaluated including, but not be limited to, daily operations, major freeway and arterial incidents, special events and disaster response/evacuations. The trigger mechanism relies on the evaluation of scenarios and use of real-time information from MVDS data, HERE data, construction projects, incidents and device health along the corridors to initiate the detour and signal timing changes.
Response plans include disseminating real-time traveler information via 511, DMS and partnerships with the media. Smaller Arterial DMS are used to help direct traffic along the integrated corridor while pushing traffic from the interstate to arterial and vice versa. The SunGuide software publishes the predefined DMS and Signal Timing Plans based on event severity and stage.
Over Height Detection
The I-95 overpass at Martin Luther King Parkway/US-1 in Jacksonville has been struck by over-height vehicles, igniting conversations between FDOT, Transit and JaxPort. This intersection is highly used by JaxPort’s Talleyrand Marine Terminal and incidents here can cause delays and loss of revenue. The ITS group designed and implemented an over-height detection system to prevent these types of incidents and trigger alerts at the RTMC to coordinate with multiple agencies on potential issues.
The Over-Height Detection System deployed on MLK Parkway in Jacksonville is for truck traffic exiting the Talleyrand Terminal towards I-95, and west of I-95 headed towards the Talleyrand Terminal. The trucks pass a series of over height-detection devices, paired with CCTV, that trigger and activate the over-height warning system.
The over-height detection sensors are solar powered and set up across from each other on MLK Parkway. One side has the verification camera for operational use. When triggered by an over height vehicle a series of signs flash with the final one overhead on a mast arm, with flashing beacons and a sign stating “OVERHEIGHT VEHICLE EXIT RIGHT 750 FT WHEN FLASHING”.
Truck Parking has increasingly become a problem due to safety initiatives such as the Hours of Service Requirement by FMCSA, excessive fatigue searching for parking, increased freight needs and the new mandates for the use of the Electronic Logging Device. Also, according to the American Transportation Research Institute, truck parking has been ranked as a top critical issue in the trucking industry by truck drivers in recent years. FDOT’s study goal was to find a programmatic, performance-based solution.
FDOT developed a Truck Parking Availability System (TPAS) to address the need for parking information management. TPAS was developed by bringing stakeholders such as FDOT’s Transportation Data and Analytics Office, Freight and Multimodal Operations Office and District 2’s Freight Coordinator together to perform analysis on industry needs. In District 2, numerous rest areas, weight stations and welcome centers were outfitted with detection devices, signs and cameras to help address this matter.
Along I-10, I-75 and I-95 in District 2, sensors were installed in the existing pavement for each truck parking space at the rest areas, weigh stations and welcome centers that communicate to a wireless gateway when it detects a truck is present. This information is communicated back to the server located at the RTMC and pushes updates to the TPAS drivers through SunGuide. Those updates utilize DMS to post available spots upstream from the truck parking location informing the truck drivers about conditions ahead
Operations Area of Practice
- Regional Traffic Signal Operations & Program Management
- Transportation Management Centers (TMC / TOC)
- Case Studies & Lessons Learned