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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Citywide Congestion Management Plan (CCMP) by New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT)

3. Proposed Deployment Components

Transit Signal Priority

Objective: Improve performance of bus service through the application of Transit Signal Priority on key corridors.

Challenges: NYCDOT and MTA are embarking on an ambitious program to provide TSP to 6,000 buses in New York City. A key component of the project is New York City’s dedicated broadband wireless infrastructure (NYCWiN), which was created by the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to support public safety and operations. Because NYCWiN supports the implementation of TSP without any additional hardware or infrastructure changes, this approach is particularly cost-effective and attractive for widespread implementation of TSP in New York.

Approach: TSP in New York City uses in-vehicle GPS tracking devices and other on-bus TSP software to detect a bus’s location. The bus then sends a TSP request to the NYCDOT Traffic Management Center (TMC), relayed through MTA’s Bus Command Center. The TMC uses the New York City Wireless Network (NYCWiN) to communicate with the traffic signal controllers (Figure 7). In order to create a safe and efficient intersection with TSP, significant traffic analysis is required. Analysis will be conducted utilizing both macroscopic and microscopic modeling software. The former will be used to identify existing capacity problems, evaluate mitigation measures to alleviate these problems, and optimize signal timings and offsets. All analyses of TSP operations will be evaluated at the microscopic level to measure traffic performance and visualize operations. TSP operational benefits are dynamic in nature and sensitive to changes in traffic characteristics such as volumes, signal timing and phasing, new pedestrian phases, intersection geometry, bus schedules and frequencies. Thus, optimal results can be maintained over time by fine tuning TSP parameters based on periodic reassessments.

Monitoring and Maintenance.  The image depicts a process starting with the MTA Server which leads to a dedicated connection which leads to a DOT TMC server which leads to two options: 1) NYCWiN  and TSP, RTPI, WayFinding and ITS Monitoring Workstation.

Figure 7

Off Hour Deliveries Program Expansion

Objective: Implement low-noise and unassisted delivery technology to encourage and incentivize the shift of truck related deliveries to the off peak hours, thereby reducing traffic congestion and emissions, as well as reducing delivery costs and improving goods delivery times.

Challenges: NYCDOT seeks to reduce the impact of the trucks on congestion. In NYC, trucks carry approximately 91 percent of goods. Daily freight trips are estimated to have increased steadily in the city, growing by 5.7 percent between 2010 and 2013. Moreover, trucking industry partners have advised NYCDOT that they have experienced a 30 percent increase in parcel deliveries to sections of Manhattan since 2010. This increased truck traffic puts additional demands on already congested streets. The added congestion results in increased emissions, delayed delivery of goods, and added costs for shippers and receivers. Two major concerns that arise in implementing OHD are noise concerns for community residents and the need for additional staff for businesses. Utilizing technology solutions to address both will facilitate broader implementation of OHD.

Approach: OHD will scale up work that NYCDOT has previously developed through an OHD Pilot (2009/2010), during which 400 business shifted deliveries to the off peak hours. Benefits of the pilot program included financial benefits for shippers (lower delivery, reduced parking fines) and receivers (reductions in inventory costs, improved reliability of deliveries, and lower shipping costs). In addition, there were reductions in transportation emissions by trucks having shorter and more direct routes, faster speeds, and less time stuck in traffic. NYCDOT would seek additional OHD participation from shippers and receivers in the most congested areas of the city. NYCDOT would use this grant to develop and distribute an incentives program, which would include a customized scheme to provide financial incentives for receivers and transporters to acquire technology that could facilitate unassisted deliveries, such as electronic doormen, quiet pallet jacks and virtual delivery cages.

High Occupancy Vehicle Verification

Objective: Implement and test vehicle occupancy verification cameras at key locations.

Challenges: NYCDOT is working in partnership with Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to mitigate the effects of the closure of the L subway line between Brooklyn and Manhattan for resiliency repairs. The closure is expected to take 15 months starting in early 2019, and force 225,000 subway commuters to find a different commute option. Most likely shuttle bus service will be primarily concentrated on the Williamsburg Bridge, the nearest bridge to the L subway line, and if these buses were to operate in mixed traffic, they would experience significant delay. Unreliable service would stimulate some shift to less efficient modes, further exacerbating congestion.

To ensure fast, reliable operation of high-volume bus service between Manhattan and Brooklyn, NYCDOT is exploring HOV restrictions on the Williamsburg Bridge, as well as other nearby crossings. In order to enforce HOV restrictions, NYCDOT will work with the New York Police Department (NYPD) to station officers at key locations to check vehicle occupancy and enforce against violators. Where bridge connections are made from major highways, this approach is logistically difficult. Other US cities have tested and adopted camera technologies to verify and enforce against motorists carrying fewer than the minimum required passengers for HOV lane access. NYCDOT seeks to test technologies of this type, but acknowledges the unique challenges that arise from operating in the heavily-congested, under-engineered roadway environment of New York City and its bridge crossings.

Approach: NYCDOT will follow agency procurement guidelines to ascertain viable technological solutions from eligible vendors, and procure material for camera installations at key locations. NYCDOT staff will consult with other jurisdictions who have implemented similar technologies on how to structure tests of the accuracy at installation locations. NYCDOT will then collect vehicle occupancy data using the cameras as well as through manual counts and evaluate the accuracy of camera technology. After piloting the technology, NYCDOT will issue a monitoring report summarizing the results of the test and including a recommendation on future applicability.

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