Partner with neighboring agencies, either formally or informally, to address institutional challenges and benefit from cross-jurisdictional traffic signal coordination.
The experience of five regions with cross-jurisdictional signal timing.
Montgomery County,Maryland,United States; Monroe County,New York,United States; Philadelphia,Pennsylvania,United States; Greenwood Village,Colorado,United States; Tucson,Arizona,United States
- Address comfort levels when establishing formal or informal agreements among agencies. In Philadelphia, the city’s cross-jurisdictional signal program involves three agencies sharing information verbally, having established informal agreements between the jurisdictions. This arrangement has worked well for these agencies. As the agencies expanded the system, additional agreements were necessary and they found that the smaller municipalities prefer formal agreements that have been reviewed by legal counsel. It takes additional time and effort to structure agreements that satisfy the legal representatives. The agencies believe that the coordination agreements, whether formal or informal, have resulted in improved operations in terms of fewer accidents, more consistent speeds, and reduced air pollution.
- Explore alternative arrangements for cooperation that suit the local landscape. In Montgomery County, Maryland, a formal agreement between the Maryland State Highway Administration (MdSHA) and the county has been established for the maintenance of state-owned traffic signals; but there are no formal agreements to address signal timing. The county and the District of Columbia have met informally and agreed upon common cycle lengths for corridors that need to be coordinated during the AM and PM peak periods.
- In Monroe County, New York, the county is the lead agency and has formal Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the state and other local agencies to operate and maintain the traffic signals in all jurisdictions. The agencies have worked together to develop an Interagency Operations Plan.
- Take advantage of facilitation by regional governmental organizations. The City of Greenwood Village, Colorado has both formal and informal agreements in place for coordinating traffic signals across jurisdictions. The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) is the lead agency and has partnership agreements with the City of Greenwood Village, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and Arapahoe County for the development of timing plans. Each jurisdiction maintains its own traffic signals; but there is a Traffic Signal Committee that meets regularly to discuss coordination issues.
- In Tucson, Arizona, the city is the lead agency and maintains the central traffic control system. There are six other agencies that share the use of the system allowing each agency to more easily coordinate its traffic signals with the others, providing a seamless transportation system. Each develops, implements, and maintains their own timing plans and maintain their own traffic signals. There are no formal agreements for operating or maintaining the signal system, but they have a monthly forum through the Pima Association of Governments to address issues pertaining to the system. An advantage of their approach is that the participating agencies have realized cost efficiencies through pooling of the regional funding resources for the purchase and installation of traffic signal coordination equipment.
Author: Pat Timbrook, Jeffrey Trombly and Arti Gupta
Published By: U.S. Department of Transportation Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office Federal Highway Administration
Source Date: February 2002
EDL Number: 13613URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib//jpodocs/repts_te/13613.html
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