Use portable ITS equipment to monitor and control traffic flow at major signalized intersections located at entrance and exit points near planned special events.
Experience from Dutchess County, New York using ITS for planned special events in a rural area.
To improve the efficiency of transportation operations on the day of the event, the New York State Police (NYSP), which is responsible for traffic management on state roads, in coordination with the New York State Department of Transportation, developed a traffic plan that utilized ITS. Listed below are lessons learned and best practices using ITS to aid in the management of a planned special event in a rural area:
- Apply portable ITS equipment to improve traffic flow at the entrance and exit points of a planned event. The congestion associated with the planned special event in Dutchess County originated primarily at two intersections, one at the entrance and one at the exit point to the fairgrounds. The NYSP deployed portable ITS equipment, including closed circuit television (CCTV), remote signal control, and mobile command centers, at the entrance and exit points in the fairgrounds. Operators in the command centers monitored traffic at the two intersections during the event days and adjusted the signal phases according to the varying traffic demands in order to increase traffic flow.
- Deploy microwave detectors at signalized intersections for pedestrian detection and for allowing pedestrian crossing. The NYSP traffic plan for the event calls for optimizing traffic flow at the major intersections near the fairgrounds by maximizing a green phase. However, these intersections are also used by pedestrians. Thus, to avoid the risk that pedestrians would lose patience waiting for a signal change and cross against the signal, planners installed microwave detectors for detecting pedestrians and updating the signal to permit pedestrian traffic.
- Use CCTV and signal control software at signalized intersections for monitoring congestion and adjusting signal phases. To alleviate the substantial backups at the major intersection north of the fairgrounds, traffic planners installed a CCTV and a mobile command center at the fairgrounds with signal control software. Operators at the mobile command center visually monitored traffic at the intersection via the CCTV and adjusted the signal timing with the signal control software. Much of the delay seen in previous years has been eliminated because this system allows the operators to adjust the signal according to the varying traffic demands as well as the presence of pedestrians.
- Divert commercial vehicles headed through the event area to alternate routes. Commercial vehicles use the state roads that lead to the fairgrounds as they pass through to their final destinations. The presence of these vehicles on event days exacerbated the already high congestion levels. To keep commercial vehicles from being inadvertently caught up in event day traffic, the NYSP used traveler information resources to inform commercial motorists of the event and direct them to take alternate routes. Specifically, days ahead of the event, NYSP informed local and regional media of event access information and diversion route-information. In addition, NYSP installed 10 solar-powered portable dynamic message signs that were 1) pre-programmed with event and alternate route information, and 2) adjustable via cellular phone, enabling operators to update the displayed messages if needed and according to time and day. Because of the limited number of roads available for diversion in the area, NYSP placed portable message signs as far as 20 miles away to direct drivers to alternate routes.
Author: United States Department of Transportation
Published By: United States DOT
Source Date: November 2008
EDL Number: 14436URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/30000/30400/30470/14436.pdf
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Intelligent Transportation Systems > Roadway Operations & Maintenance > Information Dissemination > Dynamic Message Signs
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Arterial Management > Surveillance > Traffic
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Arterial Management > Traffic Control > Advanced Signal Systems
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Arterial Management > Traffic Control > Special Events
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Transportation Management Centers > Temporary TMCs > Special Events
CCTV, closed circuit television cameras, road monitoring, sensors, vehicle detector, traffic detection, traffic monitoring, congestion monitoring, coordinated signals, signal coordination, centralized signal control, signal synchronization, traffic signals, advanced signal control, signal timing optimization, coordinated signal control, advanced signal controller, traffic signal retiming, retiming, planned special events