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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Using Capability Maturity Frameworks for Transportation System Management and Operations (TSMO) Program Advancement:
Case Studies and Lessons Learned

Chapter 5. Traffic Management Capability Maturity Framework

Framework Overview

Broadly, the Traffic Management (TM) CMF assesses the capability to efficiently manage the movement of traffic on streets and highways and includes corridor management approaches. The capability levels and the actions are defined from a traffic manager's perspective. The actions may require other regional agencies to be the responsible party, fostering multiagency collaboration and dialogue about traffic management at the regional level.

Use of the Framework

Recommended for agencies considering integrated corridor management (ICM), active transportation and demand management applications, or changes to existing TMC operations.

Link to the CMF

Level of Deployment

To date, eight regions have used the CMF process and have involved close to 170 personnel in traffic management activities. While there is no requirement to use the framework, FHWA has used the CMF to support the ICM planning grants.

Sample of Actions from the Framework

The TM CMF identifies around 150 actions across all the dimensions of capability. Below are some sample actions:

  • Draft standard operational procedures, roles, and responsibilities for other agencies to review and agree upon.
  • Create corridor-level traffic management operating concepts.
  • Make sure that information technology structure (agency or outsourced) has the knowledge and ability to handle complex integration requirements for new systems and technologies.
  • Identify the output and outcome measures useful for determining agency efficiency in traffic management strategies.
  • Use regional architecture in congestion management, safety planning, and project selection processes.
  • Develop a simple tool (e.g., spreadsheet based) for producing specific measures or analysis, or both, as needed.
  • Create a library of resources related to all aspects of traffic management and incorporate into operations training plans.

Case Study 5: Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Council of Governments

Representatives from the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), Ohio Department of Transportation (Ohio DOT) Central Office and District 8, FHWA, and other stakeholders met for the TM CMF assessment in Cincinnati, Ohio. The assessment focused on current capabilities for traffic management and data analysis, with a goal of understanding how Ohio DOT and OKI could bolster their ongoing programs through improved interagency coordination and culture for better management of traffic in the Cincinnati metropolitan area. OKI is the Federally-recognized metropolitan planning organization representing the Cincinnati metropolitan area which is responsible for developing the long range transportation plan and the programming of projects for the region.

Snapshot of TM CMF Use at OKI

Timeframe: May 2016.

Sponsoring agency: OKI.

Motivation: Understanding how Ohio DOT and OKI could bolster their ongoing programs through improved interagency coordination and culture for better management of traffic in the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

Feedback on CMF: Since the workshop, there has been significant change in how traffic management occurs in Ohio, with more centralized operations. Some of the actions identified in the assessment no longer apply. However, the process did point to some data gaps that OKI is significantly remedying.

Message for other agencies: While the CMF can identify actions and areas for improvement, broader shifts in operations and management responsibilities in the region may impact the planned roadmap.

For More Information

Robert Koehler

Jim Hunt

Key Outcomes

OKI is an interesting case study on the lasting impacts of the CMF since its organizational structure and role have evolved significantly since its assessment in 2016. While traffic management used to be largely under OKI, it has shifted to the Ohio DOT offices. However, OKI still acts as a crucial traffic data source to inform planning efforts in the region and has expanded its data collection capability and efforts significantly since its workshop.

In addition to processing data from other agencies, OKI directly employs traffic counters for vehicles and bike/ped counts on trails. OKI receives traffic volume data on its region from a contractor on a biannual basis. More recently, OKI collaborated with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to deploy collection devices at a key river crossing, allowing the agency to track vehicle speed, distribution by type, and total travel volume. OKI is also currently working on refining transportation performance measures.

Last, OKI has strengthened its focus on using advanced technologies especially for data collection; the agency now includes technology advancement and integration in its project prioritization process.

Overall, the CMF was viewed as a useful tool by the OKI staff. The CMF assessment is credited in helping to advance the culture of traffic management in the organization and in creating a strong technology and data focus. However, many of the actions identified in the CMF relating to traffic management are now part of statewide Ohio DOT operations.

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