Office of Operations Active Transportation and Demand Management

The Active Transportation and Demand Management Program (ATDM): Lessons Learned

4.0 Discussion

In response to the growing pressure for agencies to do more with less and address congestion challenges from all aspects of the network, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is working to promote a dynamic approach to manage the transportation network. The approach seeks to optimize performance and increase efficiency throughout the entire trip chain as seen from the traveler’s perspective. Termed Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM), the program advances the ability to manage, control, and influence travel demand, traffic demand, and traffic flow of transportation facilities.

The program builds off the existing investments that state and local agencies have made in transportation systems management and operations. Investments on our transportation facilities are wide-ranging and include monitoring systems (detectors), communication backbones, advisory systems (message signs, highway advisory radios), field personnel and vehicles (safety service patrols), centers (traffic management centers), public information portals (websites, 511), control systems (traffic signal systems, ramp meters, road/lane closure systems), and operational information exchanges (Computer Aided Dispatch [CAD] integration, data warehousing). Leveraging these investments to realize a greater degree of real-time, dynamic management and operational capability is the primary goal of the program.

Active management is a tactical approach to operating systems, programs, and technologies differently; focusing on applying more “hands on” and dynamic approaches through real-time and predictive analyses. ATDM creates an environment where the occurrence and effects of problems can be reduced.

ATDM builds upon existing capabilities, assets, and programs and enables agencies to leverage existing investments — creating a more efficient and effective system and extending the service life of existing capital investments. All agencies and entities operating transportation systems can advance toward a more active management philosophy. This report documents the lessons learned and critical issues related to the deployment of ATDM across the country to date. It is the intent of this document to help other agencies across the country learn from their predecessors’ experiences and work to move ATDM forward in their communities in the most appropriate ways to meet their regional goals and objectives and enhance mobility and the quality of life for the American traveler.

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