Freeway reconstruction program: traffic management evaluation
David A. Noyce, Ph.D., P.E. - TOPS Contact
April 21, 2008
May 31, 2010
2 years & 1 month
The Wisconsin traffic management program has steadily grown over the last three decades. While the benefits of traffic management are well established and well documented in the literature, perennial public and political scrutiny compels WisDOT to further justify traffic management installations – existing and proposed – and continued operations.
Over the last several years, various efforts, evaluations, and reports have been generated on the traffic management program in Wisconsin. The purpose and objective of this project includes synthesizing those previous efforts, updating previous evaluations and augmenting the results with economic evaluations where possible, further evaluating potentially all existing installations ex post for demonstrated benefits, laying out straightforward methodologies for application statewide, and exploring opportunities for low cost improvements to traffic management operations.
The scope outlined below is developed around a budget of $150,000 for the Wisconsin TOPS Lab. Additional potential items associated with this work order but to be performed by others are noted below. Others involved with these tasks may include WisDOT BHO staff, WisDOT regional or SE Freeways staff, and consultants involved in specific projects or master contracts.
Task 1 – Program Management and Coordination
- The WisDOT project manager for this work order is Marie Treazise, Statewide Freeway Operations Engineer; the TOPS Lab manager for this is Peter Rafferty, ITS Program Manager
- Provide single point of coordination for all freeway construction traffic management activity, evaluation, and deployments statewide, both at the statewide and regional or project levels
- Facilitate and/or attend related meetings and provide communication and documentation to all stakeholders
- Approximately every two months convene Technical Review Team meetings with BHO-Traffic, BHO-STOC, and TOPS Lab staff to discuss task coordination and technical results.
- Hold three workshops with BHO-Traffic, BHO-STOC, TOPS Lab, SW Region, DTIM, and SE Freeways. These are to be held initially, after Task 4, and at the end of the project.
Deliverables: progress reports and invoices, meeting notices, agendas, minutes
Task 2 – Synthesize Recent and Underway Traffic Management Activity
- [BY OTHERS] Compile data on all current and planned traffic management installations, including as-builts, date of installation, controller type, and algorithm or operating logic
- Review and summarize recent evaluations and documents on traffic management, including the four known traffic management evaluations done in Wisconsin to date and the documents on the current algorithm and retiming procedure
- Prepare synthesis memo on key findings and next steps
Deliverables: freeway construction traffic management synthesis memo (draft and final)
Task 3 – User Survey and Economic Background
- Conduct a phone survey of Milwaukee area residents with regards to experiences and perceptions of traffic management; this would utilize a university-based survey center
- Research economic values for common measures of safety/crashes, operating costs, and value of travel time; interview and coordinate with WisDOT staff, including DTIM, as necessary – TOPS to complete
- Research and estimate freeway construction traffic management costs for various installations, system wide, and shared costs
- Prepare a memo summarizing evaluations, study locations, economic values, and survey results – TOPS to complete
Deliverables: evaluation and survey technical memo (draft and final)
Task 4 – Estimate Benefits of Current Installations
- Develop and pilot a before and after ex post methodology for evaluating current traffic management installations, including economic valuation of safety and operations benefits in interchange vicinities for periods prior to and following each installation
- Collect safety and operational data via the WisTransPortal
- Create traffic management startup date map based on compilation of installation dates
- Estimate costs (e.g., attributable and joint, capital and maintenance) of traffic management program and of individual installations
- Estimate NPV and B/C values for traffic management installations where data are available via the WisTransPortal
- Prepare technical memo on economics of freeway construction traffic management based on current WisDOT system
Deliverables: freeway construction traffic management evaluation methodology white paper, freeway construction traffic management start-up map, freeway construction traffic management benefits memo
Task 5 – Operational Evaluation
- Conduct a more detailed with and without (as distinct from before and after) freeway construction traffic management microsimulation analysis of traffic management installations, to include two locations on one of the following corridors
- US 45 corridor from Zoo Interchange to Silver Spring North Interchange
- I-94 North-South from Illinois to College (existing/future/construction) in conjunction with N-S TMP
- [BY OTHERS]As additional resources allow for others, additional proposed freeway construction traffic management locations for evaluation include the following, which are intended to provide a meaningful cross-section of operating conditions, but are subject to change:
- I-43 & Moorland Road. This location will have roundabouts at the ramp terminals in addition to two NB ramps with traffic management.
- I-894 / US 45 Northbound Corridor in Milwaukee and West Allis. This corridor has five traffic management locations and is delayed in both the AM and PM peak periods. This series of ramps will provide an opportunity to explore corridor-based traffic management operations.
- I-94 Westbound at Moorland Road, Brookfield. This location has very high volumes that back up onto Moorland Road during the afternoon peak, and the mainline volumes are relatively high.
- I-94 Eastbound at 35th Street, Milwaukee. This location enters into a very dense central business district and has insufficient storage.
- I-894/43 Westbound at 60th Street, Greenfield. This meter has relatively sufficient storage with minimal delays on the mainline downstream.
- US 12/14 Eastbound at Whitney Way, Madison. This location has both high ramp and mainline volumes, and the ramp has insufficient storage.
- I-94 East-West between 27th and STH16
- Evaluate the traffic management operation that took place during the E-W resurfacing
- The modeling will consider storage and other design issues, along with adjacent intersection control to the traffic management, such as signals and roundabouts, and the impacts to traffic management operations
- Summarize low cost options for improving operations, such as revised algorithms, communication between traffic management equipment on a corridor, etc.
- Prepare with-and-without evaluation memo
- Recommend next steps for evaluation or implementing improvements to current operations or algorithms
Deliverables: microsimulation files, analysis memo
Task 6 – Recommendations, Outreach, and Next Steps
Deliverables: briefing material, recommendations memo
- Concisely document all efforts and evaluations
- Prepare and present material, as requested, to WisDOT management
- [BY OTHERS] Complete public information and outreach activities to include educating the public about the goals and objectives of freeway construction traffic management – potentially a separate task
- Recommend improvements to the overall program, including deployment and removal standards, algorithms, and so on
- Lay out next steps and a plan for ongoing management of the freeway construction traffic management system and program