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Regional ITS Architecture Guidance Document

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7 Using a Regional ITS Architecture

Step 5: Use the Regional Architecture.

The regional ITS architecture was developed in the previous four sections. Now that you have a regional ITS architecture, this section describes ways that the architecture can be used.

In earlier sections, as the regional ITS architecture was developed, the transportation planning process and planning documents were key inputs at each step in the architecture development process. In Sections 7.1 and 7.2, ways that transportation planners can use the regional ITS architecture as an integral part of the transportation planning process are discussed. For transportation designers and implementers, ways that the regional ITS architecture can be used to support the implementation of transportation projects that involve ITS elements are covered in Section 7.3.

  • Support Transportation Planning
  • Support Programming/Budgeting/Capital Planning
  • Support Project Implementation
  • Fully incorporate ITS elements into the region's transportation planning and programming processes.
  • Support the definition of ITS projects that fully consider the integration opportunities defined in the regional ITS architecture.
Key Activities
Support Planning Processes
  • Long Range Planning: A regional ITS architecture can support these efforts by promoting increased stakeholder participation and promoting system and inter-jurisdictional integration.
  • ITS Strategic Planning: Outputs of a regional ITS architecture can serve as the basis for these plans, with additional effort required to define issues such as funding, system management and operation, and regional technology choices.
  • Other Planning Activities: A regional ITS architecture can support planning activities such as Congestion Management Process, Safety Planning, Freight Planning, Security Planning, and Operations Planning.
Support Programming/Budgeting
  • Transportation Improvement Programming: The regional ITS architecture can support the selection of projects identified in programming/budgeting documents through its project definition and sequencing recommendations.
  • Capital Planning/Budgeting: Projects from a regional architecture that will require agency funds need to be fed into the capital planning/budgeting process.
Support Project Implementation
  • Project Implementation: The regional ITS architecture can support key system engineering analysis activities.
Sources of Information
  • Regional ITS Architecture
  • Project Architectures or ITS Project Plans
Results of Process
  • Planning products that fully incorporate ITS elements into the regional, statewide, and agency plans and programs/budgets.
  • Programming documents and capital plans that identify efficient sequences that reflect ITS Project dependency and sequencing recommendations.
  • Project implementation based on the regional ITS architecture that considers the integration opportunities inherent in the architecture.

The overall organization of this section is shown in Figure 28. Planning processes are used to identify projects whose implementation will respond to regional needs. These projects are placed in programming documents such as a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) in order to secure funding for the projects. Once funded, the projects are implemented. The regional ITS architecture supports all three of these major steps — planning, programming, and implementation — as described in this section.

Use of the architecture throughout the project lifecycle is both a benefit and a challenge. It is a benefit since architecture use at each step improves continuity between the transportation planning process and the projects that are ultimately implemented. Serving all three major steps, with their varied perspectives and needs, is also a key challenge for the regional architect. The challenge is to create a regional ITS architecture and supporting processes and documentation that is high-level enough to support long range planning and detailed enough to provide direction to project implementers. Section 7 provides the best available information and guidance for meeting these challenges and productively using the architecture in your region.

A graphic that represents how this section is organized into Planning, Programming, and Implementation.  It also shows how each of these steps are supported by the regional ITS architecture.

Figure 28: Using the Regional Architecture

7.1 Use for Transportation Planning

This section provides guidance on using a regional ITS architecture as part of transportation planning. Due to regional and local variations in the practice of transportation planning, this guidance represents a wide range of options available to each state, region, or agency rather than a single recommendation. There is no need to fundamentally change the planning processes in the region to use the architecture. The regional ITS architecture is a tool that can be used to support planning for ITS within the context of existing transportation planning processes. Local stakeholders must decide how best to incorporate the regional ITS architecture and the products produced during its development into their transportation planning process.

The goal of the planning process is to make quality, informed decisions pertaining to the investment of public funds for regional transportation systems and services. Using the regional ITS architecture to support these planning activities is an important step in the mainstreaming of ITS into the traditional decision-making of planners and other transportation professionals. As shown in the previous steps in the architecture development process, transportation plans and programs are important inputs to the development of a regional ITS architecture. Once an architecture is complete, it can feed detailed ITS-specific information back into the planning process.

Figure 29 shows some of the key steps in the transportation planning process. These steps will be elaborated on in following sections. The process is driven by a regional vision and set of goals. These drive transportation improvement strategies that are a mix of capital improvements and operational improvements. The planning organizations evaluate and prioritize the various strategies, and the resulting output is a document called the Long Range Transportation Plan (or sometimes Transportation Plan or Regional Transportation Plan). This plan is the key output of long range planning. The Long Range Transportation Plan feeds the Programming function which produces the Transportation Improvement Program (See Section 7.2 for a discussion of this effort.) Once a project is programmed then project development can begin (see section 7.3 for a discussion of this step). All of these steps occur with a variety of critical factors and inputs as shown in the figure. A regional ITS architecture may support each step in this process. Support for the Long Range Planning steps is discussed in Section 7.1.1 below. In addition to the long range planning document there may be planning documents created that are ITS specific, such as an ITS Strategic Plan. These types of plans and their connection to the regional ITS architecture are discussed in Section 7.1.2 below. Finally, support for other planning activities, such as freight or operations planning will be discussed in Section 7.1.3 below.


The graphic shows some of the key steps in the transportation planning process which are: Regional Vision & Goals; Alternate Improvement Strategies; Evaluation & Prioritiziation of Strategies; Development of Long-Range Transportation Plan; Development of Transportation Improvement Program; Project Development; and System Operation

Figure 29: ITS Architecture and the Transportation Planning Process

7.1.1 Long Range Planning

In the traditional transportation planning process, the Long Range Plan is the output product of the process for long-range planning. Across the country, this plan is called various names including Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), Long-range Transportation Plan (LRTP) or just Long-range Plan (LRP). In this document it will be referred to as the "Long Range Plan", "The Plan", or LRP. The Plan documents the policy direction for the region and describes how transportation projects and programs will be implemented over a 20-year (or longer) period. It must be updated periodically by each state and metropolitan area. The regional ITS architecture can serve as a direct input to the plan. In some cases the regional ITS architecture might be incorporated into the plan itself. Leading up to the publishing of the plan are a variety of planning activities, as shown in Figure 29, which the architecture can also support.

The long range plan is the expression of a state or metropolitan area's long-range approach to constructing, operating, and maintaining the multimodal transportation system. It is the policy forum for balancing transportation investments among modes, geographic areas, and institutions. A regional ITS architecture is related to both the statewide transportation plan, the metropolitan transportation plan, and agency long range plans.

How can a Regional ITS Architecture support the transportation planning process? In the following basic ways that will be expanded upon below:

One of the first steps in using a regional ITS architecture to support transportation planning is to determine the regional ITS architecture(s) that apply to the planning area. In most cases, there is a single architecture that corresponds to the state or metropolitan planning area and the choice is obvious. In a few areas around the country, more than one regional ITS architecture may apply. For example, the metropolitan Washington area, spanning the District of Columbia and portions of northern Virginia and Maryland, has two regional ITS architectures: 1) a regional ITS architecture developed by the Metropolitan Washington Area Council of Governments (MWACOG) that focuses on inter-agency relationships and 2) a Northern Virginia (NOVA) regional ITS architecture that was developed by VDOT. Where more than one architecture applies, it is important to understand the relationship between each architecture and the transportation planning process and document this understanding of how each architecture will be used. It is also critical to coordinate the potentially overlapping architectures to minimize redundancy and ensure they are consistent. See section 3.2 for more information on defining architecture scope.

Operational Strategies

The planning process usually begins with a regional vision and goals. These goals are often very high level statements such as "preserve the transportation system" or "enhance public safety and security" (these are two of the six goals in the California Transportation Plan 2025). These high level goals are then further defined as objectives, policies, or strategies. As shown in Figure 29, the strategies are primarily capital improvements or operational improvements. The Regional ITS Architecture can provide an array of potential operational improvements through the services that are defined in it.

As an example, the following strategy (supporting the goal of preserving the transportation system) is contained in the California Transportation Plan:

Use technology, innovative techniques, and new materials to enhance the life of the transportation system, provide safer work sites, enhance productivity, and provide real-time construction and maintenance information, including anticipated delays, to enable the traveler to plan their trip and avoid work zones.

This strategy borrows from several of the services contained in the California statewide ITS architecture, including work zone management, traffic information dissemination, broadcast traveler information, and interactive traveler information. Additional examples of strategies with their roots in the Regional ITS Architecture can be found in other LRPs and overall this represents one way for the Regional ITS Architecture to be used in the planning process.

Strategies that have traditional transportation projects as their primary solution, may add ITS elements or services as a part of the overall strategy solution. For example, to reduce congestion, a corridor is planned for widening. This project could also include incorporation of ITS elements and services to better manage the upgraded corridor.

TipThe selection of services to support strategies will be simplified for the planning organization if the Regional ITS Architecture has a needs section that provides a mapping from the needs (including the goals of the Long Range Plan) to the more detailed services of the architecture.

Strategy Evaluation and Prioritization

Transportation planners use a variety of tools to evaluate and prioritize the various strategies for transportation improvement. Central to this evaluation is the concept of performance measures, which focus attention on the operating performance of the transportation system. The Regional ITS Architecture (and to an even greater extent the ITS Strategic Plan described below) can provide performance measures for Operations and Management capabilities provided by ITS services. The performance measures and data collection defined in the regional ITS architecture can provide access to 24/7 data, providing the planning organization the ability to measure non-recurring congestion, travel times and travel time reliability, and other aspects of system performance and service reliability across all modes.

The Regional ITS Architecture provides a guide for the archiving of transportation data including the collection of data from various ITS operational systems. These archiving capabilities revolve around regional examples of the National ITS Architecture entity, Archived Data Management Subsystem. Furthermore the Regional ITS Architecture will have regional examples of ITS services such as ITS Data Mart (collection of historical data from a single source) and ITS Data Warehouse (collection of historical data from multiple aspects of transportation). These regional examples of these services describe connections and information that can be useful to planners in performing their evaluation and prioritization efforts. While the automation of data collection for archiving is usually a future activity (or project), the discussions that occur during the development of the Regional ITS Architecture often present additional opportunities for data sharing that can occur immediately even before projects for the automation of data sharing are implemented. This sharing of data between operations and planning, as well as the coordination that occurs in the development of the Regional ITS Architecture are examples of linkages between Planning and Operations. The concept of linkage between these two disciplines figures prominently in the FHWA Planning for Operations effort ( see http://plan4operations.dot.gov/default.asp). A complete treatment of these opportunities is included in the FHWA publication: Opportunities for Linking Planning and Operations. This publication can be found at http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/lpo_ref_guide/index.htm.

FHWA has made available several software tools to support the evaluation and prioritization of ITS related strategies developed as part of the planning process. These tools include:

Regional ITS Architecture outputs, specifically the project sequencing output may also be useful to planning staff as an aid to evaluation and prioritization of strategies. The architecture provides a short-term and long-term, multi-modal view of the ITS systems in the region. It provides the details of the transportation services and functions that can be provided by the stakeholders via ITS projects. The regional ITS architecture also illustrates the interfaces necessary between transportation systems to meet the transportation needs of the region. Finally it translates these details to the definition of a set of projects to be implemented. Usually these projects are grouped by timeframe (e.g. short term, medium term, long term). Key to its usefulness for the strategy evaluation and prioritization (as well as for the LRP as discussed below) is that this list of projects goes well beyond the short term projects that get included in the TIP (see Section 7.2 for a discussion of how the architecture can be used in developing this program element.) The project sequencing contains information for each project that may be useful to the evaluation or prioritization of the projects including:

Note that this project sequencing is not a replacement for prioritization, but rather, an input to the prioritization process. In some regions, prioritization may already have occurred and be reflected in the project sequencing outputs.

A Regional ITS Architecture provides a guide for how ITS projects can be deployed to satisfy the vision and goals defined as part of the planning process. The regional ITS architecture provides the details on how ITS can be deployed to meet and satisfy the strategies and transportation services identified for the region. These details may include the interfaces, the operational concepts and agreements necessary to implement the strategies and transportation services. With these details, ITS projects can be more clearly defined, funded, and implemented to satisfy the regional goals.

TipOne useful approach when developing the project sequencing is to view the long range projects along the line of strategies that can be expressed in terms that will facilitate their inclusion in the LRP. This higher level definition of projects (as compared to the more detailed descriptions contained in the TIP) is a closer fit to the needs of transportation planners and can support both evaluation efforts as well as provide material for the LRP.

Long Range Plan

One of the primary motives for ITS, and the regional ITS architecture, is the need for more effective management of existing transportation infrastructure. Many regions can no longer rely on adding capacity to keep pace with increasing demand. Instead, they are relying on more effective, integrated management of the existing infrastructure. Recognizing this need, many regions are beginning to include a section of the plan on "Management and Operations", which can be defined as an integrated approach to optimize the performance of existing infrastructure through the implementation of multimodal, intermodal, and often cross-jurisdictional systems, services, and projects. The recently passed law, "Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users" or "SAFETEA—LU", emphasizes the need to include Management and Operations in each region's Long Range Plan. According to the legislation (Section 6001 (i)) metropolitan planning areas must include "operational and management strategies to improve the performance of existing transportation facilities to relieve vehicular congestion and maximize the safety and mobility of people and goods." The regional ITS architecture can provide the technical underpinning to this portion of the Long Range Plan.

One of the primary purposes of the Regional ITS Architecture is to define how an integrated transportation system (of ITS elements) might evolve in a region. To do this the architecture describes elements (e.g. various ITS assets) that are interconnected to provide operations and management of the transportation system. The architecture development and maintenance process provides an accessible way for transportation planners to become more focused on integrated management and operations. Operations practitioners have a vision for how this integrated transportation system might evolve, and express this via the details of the architecture.

A Management and Operations section should be considered in all LRPs that are related to regional ITS architectures — including agency plans, metropolitan area plans, and statewide plans. This LRP section makes the connection between the integrated system plan of the architecture and the overall transportation planning process. The section can serve as a description (at the level of detail appropriate to the LRP) of the ITS portion of the regional transportation vision. Some regions will include their Regional ITS Architecture explicitly as a part of this section in the LRP while others just include it by reference.

An example of this type of inclusion is taken from the 2030 Metro Vision Regional Transportation Plan (for the Denver metropolitan region): Under the System Management and Operational Improvements element they have the following: "Personnel and technology are necessary to "actively" manage the transportation system to assure efficient and effective day-to-day operations. This class of actions generally falls under the umbrella of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)." The section then summarizes the key initiatives or areas of their Regional ITS Architecture.

Another approach used in many LRP's is to have a separate section (or subsection) devoted to ITS. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, in their Regional Transportation Plan, has a subsection on ITS activities in the region as part of the chapter on Implementation. This plan also has a summary of the regional ITS architecture as an appendix that is referenced in the ITS subsection.

Since the Regional ITS Architecture can directly support the development of the Long Range Plan (as well as the evaluation activities that are used for the development of the plan), it is recommended that the Regional ITS Architecture be formally adopted by the regional planning organization. This adoption should ideally occur at the close of the initial development of the Regional ITS Architecture. There are a couple of benefits to formally adopting the Regional ITS Architecture. Formal adoption adds credibility to the Regional ITS Architecture, allowing planners to use aspects of the architecture with the knowledge that the region has agreed to the architecture. Formal adoption also encourages additional rigor in the architecture maintenance process. There are situations where this recommendation will not be practical due to institutional complexities or due to the ITS architecture having a distinctly different (e.g. larger) geographic scope than the regional planning organization.

TipWhen the architecture is used to support development of the LRP, it is a good practice to align major maintenance updates of the architecture with the LRP update schedule, ideally updating the architecture some months prior to the creation of the LRP update. Minor updates of the architecture are suggested more frequently (e.g. yearly) to align with programming activities (discussed in Section 7.2).

TipIn order to further define the connection between the regional ITS architecture and the LRP, it is recommended that the regional needs, objectives, goals, or policies described in the LRP be tied to the ITS services (or other aspects of the architecture). This might be done as part of an ITS Strategic Plan (see following discussion), or as an augmented output of the Needs and Services section discussion in Chapter 4. Making this explicit connection between the architecture and the larger transportation planning language will help to advance the concepts of the "technical" architecture into the planning context.

The Mobility 2030 Transportation Plan for the San Diego Region actually includes the regional ITS architecture in a way that is representative of what many regions have done. This LRP includes a "System Management" chapter that focuses on management of existing facilities using ITS technologies. The chapter references the regional ITS architecture, which is actually included in the LRP as a separate technical appendix. The System Management chapter includes refined graphics like Figure 30 that present the integration opportunities identified in the architecture in a non-technical, approachable representation suitable for decision makers and the general public.

TipMany regions have recognized that the regional ITS architecture benefits from "executive summary" level descriptions and graphics that present the integration opportunities identified in the architecture in an accessible way. These graphics can be used in the architecture documentation and included in higher level documents such as the LRP that will be read by many who are not well versed in ITS architecture.


A graphic from the System Management chapter of the Mobility 2030 Transportation Plan for the San Diego Region that shows the transportation management center integration strategy in a non-technical, approachable representation.

Figure 30: San Diego Long Range Plan Excerpt — IMTMS

The ongoing maintenance of the architecture (which is covered in Section 8) is often the responsibility of the regional planning organization. The same organization is also frequently responsible for establishing the processes for architecture use in planning, programming, and project implementation. When this is the case, it is recommended that architecture use and maintenance be included as one of the work elements in the Unified Planning Work Plan document (UPWP) or in the Simplified Statement of Work for the planning organization. The UPWP is required for metropolitan areas of greater than 200,000 population and defines the MPO's short-term (1—2 year) planning priorities within a metropolitan planning area. The Simplified Statement of Work is a similar plan which is created by smaller regions. By establishing the process, tools, and support for architecture use and maintenance in these plans, the MPO can ensure financial support for these critical activities.

Stakeholder Involvement

A Regional ITS Architecture provides a vision of how Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and ITS projects can be deployed to satisfy the goals and objectives outlined in the Long Range Plan. Key to the development and maintenance of the Regional ITS Architecture is the involvement of a wide array of stakeholders. Based upon the scope of the architecture, this set of stakeholders can (and should) extend beyond the agencies traditionally focused on development of the Long Range Plan. Stakeholders such as public safety, commercial vehicle operations, tourism agencies, media, and private sector transportation service providers may be involved in the architecture development (and maintenance) effort.

The architecture development effort has a second beneficial effect on stakeholder involvement in the planning process. The architecture serves as a focal point for coordination and collaboration between planning and operations practitioners. It can also help to engage operations managers in regional planning. The architecture defines specific services, interconnections, and projects on a time horizon that is usually commensurate with the LRP timeframe. By encouraging the operations practitioners to plan an evolution of their systems well beyond the current set of projects, it connects their long term thinking with that of the transportation planners. The regional ITS architecture is one of the opportunities for improving the connection between planning and operations. A complete treatment of these opportunities is included in the FHWA publication: Opportunities for Linking Planning and Operations.

Although the central purpose of a regional ITS architecture is to provide structure to the technical components and allow the interdependencies between systems to be identified, a regional ITS architecture can also make a significant contribution to mobilizing stakeholders. One reason for this is that a regional ITS architecture serves as a visible demonstration of the institutional dependencies that exist in a region and how agencies can benefit from each other's activities.

Since the regional architecture includes a complete accounting of the current and planned ITS inventory, it can serve as a discussion point for all stakeholders to gain buy-in and make their needs known and accommodated. Since effective applications of ITS often cross modal or institutional boundaries, an architecture can help stakeholders identify areas where resources and funding can be leveraged via inter-agency cooperation.

To the extent that transportation planning and architecture development encourages team building and dialogue, it is likely that the collaboration established through the architecture effort could be used to address other, non-architecture related issues. In addition to further motivating traditional planning participants, a regional ITS architecture can help identify and engage new participants.

TipIt is an excellent idea to have the committee that was formed to undertake architecture development (and which might have responsibility for architecture maintenance- see the following chapter) to also take a leading role in overseeing the use of the architecture in the planning process. In many regions this committee is a part of, or reports to the MPO and so is naturally engaged in the transportation planning process. As it moves to the roles of monitoring maintenance and use this committee may evolve to slightly different agency participation, or to different personnel within a given agency (e.g. an agency's operations planner might be the committee member during architecture development, but the agency's technical expert might be the representative at this later phase).

The previous discussion of how the Regional ITS Architecture supports LRP development may initially have limited applicability given the current state of the regional ITS architecture and the current structure of the LRP. However, the regional ITS architecture (and the ITS Strategic Plan discussed below) will be periodically updated (see the discussion of Architecture Maintenance in Section 8) to support updates of the LRP. At each update of the architecture consider changes to the architecture outputs that will provide improved support to the LRP. Figure 31 illustrates this idea of evolving the Regional ITS Architecture (and any corresponding ITS Strategic Plan) to improve its usefulness in supporting the LRP.


The graphic shows that the regional ITS architecture  support for the Long Range Plan will increase over time as the regional ITS architecture is updated to improve it's usefullness for planning in the region.   These updates are driven by strategies, evaluations, and output of the Long Range Plan, improving synergy between the Long Range Plan and architecture over time.

Figure 31: Enhancing Regional ITS Architecture Use over Time

7.1.2 ITS Strategic Plans

An ITS Strategic Plan (sometimes known as a ITS Strategic Assessment or ITS Deployment Plan) is a guide for implementation of ITS in a region. These plans may result as a part of the overall regional ITS architecture development effort, or may be the product of separate efforts. In the former case, the ITS Strategic Plan may be one of several documents produced during the architecture development. In some cases the regional ITS architecture is just a part of a larger effort and the architecture may represent a portion of the overall ITS Strategic Plan documentation. In more recent examples where the ITS Strategic Plan was created via a separate effort, the regional ITS architecture is referenced in the plan. Figure 32 shows that in whatever form or relationship exists between the architecture and the ITS strategic plan, these efforts can be used to support both the LRP and the Transportation Improvement Program which is covered in the Section 7.2.


A graphic that shows that the regional ITS architecture and the ITS strategic plan together support both the long range plan and the transportation improvement plan.

Figure 32: ITS Architecture and ITS Strategic Plans

Why have regions created ITS Strategic Plans? There is no requirement (e.g. the Policy/Rule requirements for regional ITS architecture) for an ITS Strategic Plan, but many regions have found this a useful way to define their ITS needs and provide input to the formal planning process. Regions have used this plan as a bridge between the details of the regional ITS architecture and the transportation planning discussion contained in the Long Range Plan.

Often the ITS Strategic Plan includes several of the architecture outputs. The most common architecture outputs contained in the plans are the project sequencing and list of agreements discussed in Chapter 6.

What distinguishes these plans is that they usually contain elements that go beyond the set of requirements found in the Policy/ Rule. Some of the elements that are often included in ITS Strategic Plans (and the reasons these additional elements can help provide a better linkage between the ITS architecture and the regional transportation plans) are:

The common thread in the topics given above is the desire to better connect ITS deployments (as described in the regional ITS architecture) to the transportation planning process (as described by the LRP). The Strategic Plan focuses on Management and Operations strategies (because that is the primary focus of ITS services), which are a required aspect of the LRP.

TipRegions should consider the content and organization of their LRP and develop an explicit connection between the goals, objectives, or policies of the LRP and the regional ITS architecture. This may involve going beyond the basic Policy/Rule definition (e.g. developing one or more of the topics listed above) but it will allow a clearer connection between their architecture and the planning process. Whether this takes the form of a separate ITS Strategic Plan or is contained in architecture documentation is entirely at the discretion of the region.

7.1.3 Other Planning Activities

As shown in Figure 33, several other planning activities provide inputs to the long range plan. These planning activities can also be supported by outputs of the regional ITS architecture as described below.


A graphic that shows other planning activities as inputs to the long range plan.  These activities include the congestion management process, safety planning, and additional planning activities.

Figure 33: Other Planning Activities

Congestion Management Process

SAFETEA-LU defines the congestion management process (CMP) as: "Within a metropolitan planning area serving a transportation management

area, the transportation planning process under this section shall address congestion management through a process that provides for effective management and operation, based on a cooperatively developed and implemented metropolitan-wide strategy, of new and existing transportation facilities eligible for funding under this chapter and title 23 through the use of travel demand reduction and operational management strategies." The requirements for CMP were not changed by the new law, and would be familiar to planners under its old name- congestion management system. Figure 34 shows an overview of the steps involved in this process as well as the places where linkages can exist to the Regional ITS Architecture.


A graphic that illustrates the major steps in the Congestion Management Process which are develop performance measures, identify congestion, evaluate strategies, monitor effectivieness, and documentation.  All of these except for documentation can have linkages into the regional ITS architecture.

Figure 34: Congestion Management Process

The following will highlight the key steps in the CMP process and how the regional ITS architecture might support these activities.

The initial step in the process is to develop performance measures for the region that define the congestion and ways to mitigate it. These measures will be used to identify congestion and to support the evaluation of the effectiveness of congestion reduction strategies. The regional ITS architecture can define operational data sources that can be used to perform the measurement activities. In addition the architecture defines a set of interfaces that can support performance measurement. It is suggested that the performance measures consider not only recurring congestion, but non-recurring congestion. This latter issue is something that ITS related strategies are particularly good at addressing

In order to define the extent and duration of congestion as well as determine the causes of congestion, data collection or traffic monitoring capabilities must be implemented. Many of these data collection capabilities, either existing or new, represent ITS capabilities, and as such should be included in the regional ITS architecture. Where projects need to be implemented to provide data collection or traffic monitoring capabilities the regional ITS architecture, through the project sequencing output will provide the definition of the project.

The next step in the congestion management process is to define and evaluate travel demand reduction and operational management strategies to reduce congestion. These represent a subset of the overall regional strategies mentioned as part of the planning process shown in Figure 29. And as such the regional ITS architecture defines services that can be included in the toolbox of ITS congestion management strategies.

Monitoring the effectiveness of the strategies selected requires evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of implemented congestion management actions. Some of these actions represent ITS projects that are described by the regional ITS architecture. Evaluation implies assessment of performance measures through capabilities such as data collection or traffic monitoring, and as stated above many of these capabilities would be defined in the regional ITS architecture, both from a description of the systems and interfaces and from the definition of the projects implemented to provide the capabilities.

Finally, the CMP involves documentation of the above steps (and their results), as well as definition of a process for periodic assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of implemented strategies, in terms of the area's established performance measures.

These CMP steps provide outputs that support development of both Long Range Transportation Plans (described earlier) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), described in the next section.

Safety Planning

SAFETY-LU introduced a new core Federal-aid funding program called the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), whose goal is to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. This section of SAFETY-LU (1401) mandates that to access the funds from this program a state must create a Strategic Highway Safety Plan that identifies and analyzes safety problems and opportunities for correcting these safety problems. This safety plan is meant to be the result of consensus among a wide array of stakeholders including:

The plan should "address.. Engineering, management, operation, education, enforcement, and emergency services elements (including integrated, interoperable emergency communications) of highway safety as key factors in evaluating highway projects" (Section 1401(6) I).

The regional ITS architecture can support the development of these plans in several ways as shown in Figure 35:


The graphic illustrates how the regional ITS architecture can support the development of safety planning by supporting the Statewide Transportation Plan, the State Strategic Highway Safety Plan, HSIP, CVSP, and HSP.

Figure 35: Safety Planning and the ITS Architecture

The list of stakeholders involved in the development of the plan includes many stakeholders involved in the development of the regional ITS architecture. The process of creating an architecture brings these various stakeholders together and facilitates communications and consensus between them, which can be useful for the development of the safety plan.

Some (but by no means all) of the solutions to safety problems that are included in the strategic highway safety plan are ITS services contained in the regional ITS architecture, which will contain a description of the systems, interfaces, and information flows that define the service. The outputs of the regional ITS architecture could be used directly in the safety plan to describe the ITS related solutions.

Finally, the project sequencing output of the regional ITS architecture contains projects that address safety issues, and information from the project sequencing can be used in the development of the safety plan.

Additional Planning Activities

There are several additional planning activities commonly performed at the regional or statewide level that can be supported by a regional ITS architecture. These include:

Many states and MPOs address freight planning as part of their long range planning efforts. Some take a more active approach by building statewide or metropolitan pictures of freight movement through the development of stand alone, integrated, multimodal freight plans. Still others have begun to develop analytical tools or freight data collection programs to develop freight performance measures or to help guide freight policy and transportation investment decisions. However addressed, freight planning covers the basic planning process steps identified in Figure 29 - identify goals (or needs), develop strategies to meet these goals or needs, evaluate the strategies, and document the recommended strategies. A regional ITS architecture may be of use in performing these steps if the architecture considered freight related services. In that case it would be used in a similar way to the discussion found in Section 7.1.1 Long Range Planning. In addition the commercial vehicle operations aspects of the architecture may be useful as a source of information on stakeholder, services, interfaces, and information flows that indirectly affect freight management.

Security planning may address many aspects of security including information security, operational security, personnel security, and security management. Information security deals with securing the origin, transmittal and destination of the information. Operational Security is responsible for protecting transportation assets against both physical and environmental threats. Personnel security is responsible for ensuring that transportation personnel do not inadvertently or maliciously cause harm to ITS assets and have proper training in the event there is a security-related incident. Security management provides the underpinnings for the other security areas and addresses among other things system security policy. A regional ITS architecture identifies security related services that would be applicable to the development of these types of plans.

Operations planning includes things like the planning for the level of investment needed in individual agencies, covering areas like Safety Service Patrols, Personnel, Maintenance Operations, Transit Operations, etc. The Regional ITS Architecture (or ITS Strategic Plan) can support aspects of these plans through the project sequencing output or through the description of services contained in the architecture.

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