Be flexible to use data from various sources, such as the highway police patrol’s incident data, user feedback, and monitoring stations, to develop a statewide traveler information system.
Statewide systems implementation experience from iFlorida Model Deployment
- Beware that a statewide monitoring system may be too sparse to consistently provide useful traveler information. The original iFlorida plans called for statewide traveler information services to cover roads on the Florida Intrastate Highway System (FIHS), which included about 4,000 miles of Florida Interstate highways, the Florida Turnpike, selected urban expressways, and major interregional and intercity arterial highways. Early in the iFlorida project, FDOT realized that the amount of traffic and incident information that would be available for many of these roads was extremely limited. FDOT decided to limit the statewide traveler information to ten major roads: I-4, I-10, I 75, I-95, the Florida Turnpike, SR-60, SR-70, SR-528, US-19, and US-27. The main source of data to support the statewide traveler information was information from the FHP CAD system obtained from the FHP CAD Web site. FDOT also established processes in which the various FDOT districts would submit information about construction activities on roads that were covered by the statewide traveler information systems. The Statewide Monitoring System provided video and traffic data from the monitoring stations that were deployed. While the video from these stations was occasionally useful to confirm information about incidents that occurred within range of the video cameras, most incidents were not within camera range. The wide spacing between statewide monitoring system stations meant that the system was not very useful at supporting statewide traveler information services.
- Evaluate if Highway Patrol’s incident data can, indeed, be a major data source for statewide traveler information systems. The FHP-CAD interface available to FDOT provided incident data from the FHP CAD system. The FHP-CAD data was the primary source of statewide traveler information. However, the central software CRS’s presentation of FHP-CAD data was not reliable, so was seldom used. Most operators chose to review FHP incident information through the public Web site interface provided by FHP. Because the FHP-CAD information was the main source of statewide traveler information, FDOT contracted in the summer of 2007 for the development of a new interface to the FHP-CAD data. This tool received data from the FHP-CAD system and created a Web site that listed incidents associated with the roads included in FDOT's statewide traveler information systems. It could also use Google Maps to display the maps of the incident locations. D5 RTMC operators found the interface to the FHP data to be both reliable and useful, though some operators still preferred to access the FHP Web site directly. FDOT staff suggested that, for the purpose of supporting statewide traveler information, some of the resources spent on the Statewide Monitoring System might have been better spent on developing interfaces to additional police CAD systems across the State.
- Use creative but reliable means to plug holes in the statewide traveler information data stream. Despite the difficulties of obtaining information to populate the statewide 511 system and the limitations of the CRS in supporting statewide operations, FDOT D5 did create a successful statewide 511 system. When the CRS failed to successfully automate capabilities for maintaining statewide traveler information, RTMC operators used more manual methods to ensure that support for statewide traveler information continued. When the available source of incident information sometimes left holes in coverage, FDOT used creative methods to fill those holes, such as providing 511 user comments to RTMC operators so they could correct 511 messages that might be in error. Over the period from November 2005 through August 2007, the statewide 511 system typically logged about 35,000 calls per month.
Author: Robert Haas (SAC); Mark Carter (SAIC); Eric Perry (SAIC); Jeff Trombly (SAIC); Elisabeth Bedsole (SAIC): Rich Margiotta (Cambridge Systematics)
Published By: United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20590
Source Date: 01/30/2009
EDL Number: 14480URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/31000/31000/31051/14480.htm
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