Office of Operations
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Operations News - Archive

News Archive

Urban Congestion Report (UCR) for July - September 2012 Now Available - 11/6/2012
The Urban Congestion Report (UCR) is produced on a quarterly basis and characterizes emerging traffic congestion and reliability trends at the national and city level.

Role of Transportation Management Centers in Emergency Operations Guidebook - 11/6/2012
The purpose of this guidebook is to increase communication, collaboration, and cooperation among Transportation Management Centers (TMC) and emergency response agencies so they can effectively respond to a variety of situations ranging from a localized traffic incident to major regional events such as hurricane evacuations.

Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation for Traffic Incident Management Applications - 10/15/2012
Traffic incidents are a major source of congestion. Implementing traffic incident management (TIM) strategies has proven to be a highly cost effective way of reducing non-recurrent congestion. This publication provides the current state of practice of various analytical methodologies and related TIM applications. It, also, identifies some research activities to improve analysis of incident impacts and TIM strategies.

Model Systems Engineering Documents for ASCT Updated - 9/17/2012
The FHWA Office of Operations released the interim version of the Model Systems Engineering Documents for Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) in August of 2011 to support the Every Day Counts Initiative. The document was immediately put to use by the FHWA Resource Center, delivering over 30 workshops and presentations to increase awareness of and address the risks associated with ASCT implementation. The updated document is an outcome of the knowledge and feedback gained during those workshops and extensive collaboration between technical specialist in FWHA, agency stakeholders and the consultant team responsible for orchestrating the delivery of the document. This document represents a substantial leap forward in how systems engineering is applied to traffic signal systems. If you would like support applying the document to ASCT implementation in your specific situation please contact your State FHWA Division Office or email for assistance.

Assessing the Effectiveness of TMP Strategies - New FHWA Report - 9/17/2012
Many transportation management plan (TMP) strategies have been implemented by practitioners, but there is uncertainty about their relative effectiveness. The objective of this research effort was to identify and assess possible approaches to evaluating TMP strategies, determine what data are needed and available to support an assessment, identify any relevant work completed to date, and provide recommendations on the feasibility and usefulness of and possible approaches for conducting an assessment of TMP strategy effectiveness.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Creation of Freight Policy Council - 8/23/2012
USDOT Press Release August 23, 2012 - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Creation of Freight Policy Council

Guidelines for Disseminating Road Weather Advisory and Control Information - 8/20/2012
This guidebook provides design recommendations on communicating road weather information to travelers using various dissemination methods such as Variable Message Signs, 511, web sites and social media. It replaces an earlier guidebook which has been updated based on the review and evaluation by transportation agencies. (Publication Number: FHWA-JPO-12-046)

Integrating Clarus Data in Traffic Signal System Operation: A Survivable Real-Time Weather-Responsive System - 8/20/2012
This report presents a prototype of a secure, dependable, real-time weather-responsive traffic signal system. The prototype executes two tasks: 1) accesses weather information that provides near real-time atmospheric and pavement surface condition observations and 2) adapts signal timing in response to inclement weather. (Publication Number: FHWA-JPO-12-016)

Maryland Department of Transportation Conducts Peer-to-Peer Exchange on Freight Performance Measures - 8/7/2012
On January 12 and 13, 2011, a peer exchange meeting was held in Baltimore, Maryland with the intent of exchanging information on freight performance measures. The peer exchange identified commonly tracked performance measures across the three State peers, including: travel speeds, travel times, and freight volumes. Since the exchange, Maryland DOT has made progress on a number of their action items.

Urban Congestion Report (UCR) for April - June 2012 Now Available - 7/24/2012
The Urban Congestion Report (UCR) is produced on a quarterly basis and characterizes emerging traffic congestion and reliability trends at the national and city level.

Traffic Incident Management Cost Management and Cost Recovery Primer - 7/19/2012
This publication provides mid-level managers at transportation and other stakeholder agencies with the resources they need to explain the benefits of traffic incident management (TIM) and TIM cost management and cost recovery to executive leadership.

Article: Behind the Scenes at TMCs - 7/12/2012
Pulling back the curtain on transportation management centers (TMCs) reveals vital hubs for overseeing operations and information sharing on the Nation's highway network. (FHWA Public Roads July/August 2012)

Operations Performance Measures: The Foundation for Performance-Based Management of Transportation Operations Programs - 6/28/2012
Operations Performance Measures are a powerful tool for system operators and planners, for reaching out to the public and for decision makers deciding how to spend precious funding on our nation's highways. The FHWA Office of Operations has put together a brochure explaining the power of Operations Performance Measures in more detail. The new brochure is titled Operations Performance Measures: The Foundation for Performance-Based Management of Transportation Operations Programs. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-12-018)

Traffic Analysis Toolbox Volume XII: Work Zone Traffic Analysis - Applications and Decision Framework - 6/28/2012
FHWA developed this document to assist analysts and decision-makers involved in work zone impact assessment, evaluation of mitigation strategies, and selection of maintenance of traffic alternative(s). The document outlines key steps involved in work zone traffic analysis and includes several examples/case studies to demonstrate various analytical methods and applications. It provides an overview of key considerations and concepts related to work zone traffic analysis. This document also includes several multi-criteria decision-making approaches that can be used in alternatives analysis. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-12-009)

Recurring Traffic Bottlenecks: A Primer - Focus on Low-Cost Operational Improvements - 6/25/2012
Version 3 of "Recurring Traffic Bottlenecks: A Primer. Focus on Low-Cost Operational Improvements" is now posted on the Operations "Bottleneck" congestion web site. Version 3 updates Version 2 by including more case studies and updated information. For information on the Localized Bottleneck Reduction program initiatives please contact

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Funding for 47 TIGER 2012 Projects as Overwhelming Demand for TIGER Dollars Continues - 6/22/2012
USDOT Press Release June 22, 2012 - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that 47 transportation projects in 34 states and the District of Columbia will receive a total of almost $500 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) 2012 program.

FHWA Freight and Land Use Handbook - 6/21/2012
The goal of this Freight and Land Use Handbook is to provide transportation and land use planning practitioners in the public and private sectors with the tools and resources to properly assess the impacts of land use decisions on freight movements, as well as the impacts of freight development and growth on land use planning goals. The handbook identifies freight-related land use issues, key considerations, and available resources. Throughout the handbook, examples and case studies from a range of urban and rural areas across the country are used to demonstrate the effectiveness of these techniques. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-12-006)

Operations Benefit/Cost Analysis Desk Reference - 6/21/2012
The Operations Benefit/Cost Analysis Desk Reference is intended to meet the needs of a wide range of practitioners looking to conduct benefit/cost analysis of operations strategies. The guidance provided in the Desk Reference includes basic background information on benefit/cost analysis, including basic terminology and concepts, intended to support the needs of practitioners just getting started with B/C analysis, who may be unfamiliar with the general process. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-12-028)

U.S. Secretary Ray LaHood & Senior Transportation, Law Enforcement, Fire and EMS Executives to meet on Traffic Incident Management - 6/13/2012
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will host a two-day summit on advancing the culture of Traffic Incident Management (TIM) throughout the country. U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Raymond LaHood and Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez will welcome the group and provide opening remarks demonstrating the commitment of FHWA and USDOT senior executives in support of safe, quick traffic incident responses on the Nation's roadways. Participants will convene at the USDOT Headquarters Building on June 26 and 27, 2012. This forum of senior-level, multi-disciplinary executives will tackle tough challenges and discuss innovative solutions to help enhance TIM strategies related to TIM policies and procedures. The group will also discuss the effectiveness of State and local legislation on Safe, Quick Clearance and outreach to TIM practitioners and motorists to ensure maximum public and responder safety and compliance with laws. FHWA will produce a report following the Summit that will summarize the two-day event. The report will be available from the FHWA Office of Transportation Operations by the beginning of August 2012. Questions may be address to the Traffic Incident and Events Management team at TI&

FHWA Issues Interim Approval for the Optional Use of an Alternative Design for the U.S. Bicycle Route (M1-9) Sign - 6/8/2012
The FHWA has issued an Interim Approval for the optional use of an alternative design for the U.S. Bicycle Route (M1-9) sign. The alternative design was recommended by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) and underwent successful human factors testing at the FHWA's Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. States and local governments may apply for permission to use the alternative design under the terms and conditions of the Interim Approval, and States may request such permission for all jurisdictions in that State. This Interim Approval does not make the use of the alternative design mandatory.

2011 Urban Congestion Trends: Improving Travel Reliability with Operations - 6/8/2012
The report features a number of operations project evaluations demonstrating how system reliability can be enhanced through a variety of operational strategies as well as an example of how system reliability can be reported. The report also includes three national snapshot performance measures derived from travel time data from 19 urban areas in the U.S. during 2011. The measures include congested hours, travel time index, and the planning time index.

Article: Moving the Nation's Goods - 6/6/2012
FHWA and the I-95 Corridor Coalition examine institutional arrangements to improve the performance of multistate freight corridors. Check out these organizational options. (FHWA Public Roads May/June 2012)

Contemporary Approaches to Parking Pricing: A Primer - 6/5/2012
This primer discusses advances covering a broad array of parking pricing applications, available technology, preferred user accommodations, and strategies for gaining public acceptance for policy changes. The information provided is meant to increase awareness of innovative approaches, help communities design strategies that are applicable to their unique needs, and encourage new innovations in the field of parking pricing. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-12-026)

Creating an Effective Program to Advance Transportation System Management and Operations: Primer - 5/23/2012
The purpose of this Primer is to raise awareness of the opportunities for improving the effectiveness of State and local Transportation System Management and Operations (TSM&O) activities. The Primer provides high-level guidance focused on key program, process, and organizational capabilities that are essential to the development of more effective TSM&O strategy applications. It is aimed at program and activity-level managers responsible for TSM&O related activities in State, regional, and local transportation agencies.

Revisions 1 and 2 to the 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices - 5/15/2012
Revisions 1 and 2 to the 2009 Edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) were published in the May 14, 2012 Federal Register notice. Revision 1 restores certain language from Section 1A.09 of the 2003 MUTCD that will continue the FHWA's current practice under Official Interpretation 1(09)-1 (I), which states that in limited, specific cases, deviation from a STANDARD is allowed at a location or other locations with the same conditions, provided that an agency or other official having jurisdiction fully documents the engineering reason for the deviation. Revision 2 eliminates 46 of the 58 compliance dates that were listed in Table I-2 of the 2009 MUTCD. Four of the 12 compliance dates that were retained have had their compliance dates extended. A new Option paragraph was added to Section 2D.43 exempting existing historic street name signs within a locally identified historic district from the provisions regarding street sign color, letter size, and other design features, including retroreflectivity.

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices Peer-to-Peer Program Brochure - 5/2/2012
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Program Brochure provides information about the MUTCD P2P program. The program features transportation professionals who are willing to volunteer their time to provide guidance regarding technical issues pertaining to the MUTCD to their public sector peers who request help.

2012 National Work Zone Awareness Week - 4/26/2012
USDOT, State DOTs around the country, and partner organizations held events, made public announcements, and worked with the media throughout the week to recognize the 2012 National Work Zone Awareness Week and remind all to drive and work safely in work zones.

Urban Congestion Report (UCR) for January - March 2012 Now Available - 4/25/2012
The Urban Congestion Report (UCR) is produced on a quarterly basis and characterizes emerging traffic congestion and reliability trends at the national and city level.

Applying a Regional ITS Architecture to Support Planning for Operations: A Primer - 4/24/2012
This primer offers transportation planners and operations managers a menu of opportunities for applying the regional ITS architecture to enhance planning for operations. It provides specific entry points for leveraging the regional ITS architecture in integrating operations into the planning process. This primer centers on the use of an objectives-driven, performance-based approach to planning for operations; an approach that can leverage regional ITS architectures given the approach's emphasis on operational objectives and performance measures and the architecture's use of data and services to address operational needs. Additionally, the primer leads planners and operators through techniques to make a regional ITS architecture relevant and more accessible to practitioner needs in planning for operations. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-12-001)

The Role of Transportation Systems Management and Operations in Supporting Livability and Sustainability: A Primer - 4/18/2012
This primer describes the role of transportation systems management and operations (M&O) in advancing livability and sustainability. The document highlights the connections between M&O and livability and sustainability objectives and the importance of a balanced, comprehensive approach to M&O in order to support those objectives. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-12-004)

NHI Training Course: Principles of Evacuation Planning Tutorial - 4/17/2012
The FHWA Office of Operations with the National Highway Institute (NHI) developed Federal Highway Administration's Principles of Evacuation Planning Tutorial (133107), a Web-based training that provides an introductory overview of evacuation planning topics and common considerations. It covers the roles and responsibilities of local, regional, and state agencies involved in the evacuation process, while highlighting the importance of collaboration.

Focus Article on National Work Zone Awareness Week 2012 - 3/22/2012
An article in the March 2012 issue of FHWA Focus describes what several states are doing in honor of National Work Zone Awareness Week 2012, to be held the week of April 23, 2012. The article also provides information on FHWA's work zone safety resources.

Standard Highway Signs and Markings - 3/12/2012
The 2009 MUTCD sign layouts are now available. The Federal Highway Administration has developed the design details of the new signs added in the 2009 Edition of the MUTCD and signs whose designs have been modified in the 2009 MUTCD. The new designs are provided in the form of a Supplement to the 2004 Edition of Standard Highway Signs.

FHWA National Scholarships Program - 3/5/2012
The FHWA Office of Operations is offering up to 20 full scholarships to the next Operations Academy Senior Management Program October 9-19, 2012. The Operations Academy(TM) Senior Management Program is intended for mid to high level managers whose current or future responsibilities include transportation management and operations. For more information about the FHWA National scholarship program, please select the link below.

Theme and Kickoff Event Announced for 2012 National Work Zone Awareness Week - 3/1/2012
The theme for this year's National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is "Don't Barrel Through Work Zones! Drive Smart to Arrive Alive". NWZAW will be held April 23-27, 2012, with the National Kickoff held at the Route 141 relocation project in Chesterfield, Missouri (St. Louis area).

Talking Operations Webcast on March 20, 2012: Active Traffic Management (ATM) and Weather - 3/1/2012
Some agencies are implementing Active Traffic Management technologies to manage recurring and non-recurring traffic demand. Strategies under this category are varied and include, among others, variable speed limits, active warning systems, lane control systems and hard shoulder. However, the application of such techniques during weather events is still quite limited. Weather poses both a challenge and opportunity for the use of ATM. This webinar will focus on the role of ATM during weather events, summarize a recently developed Concept of Operations for ATM and weather, and describe recent applications and deployments in this area.

2011 Work Zone Self Assessment Report Available - 2/17/2012
The national results for the 2011 Work Zone Mobility and Safety Self Assessment (WZSA) are now available. The national average score was 10.3 (out of 15), which is an increase over the 2010 average of 10.0. The WZSA is a tool to help States evaluate their work zone practices, and to help FHWA assess work zone practices nationally. The report shares practices occurring around the country for each of the questions.

Freight Facts and Figures 2011 - 1/24/2012
The Federal Highway Administration's Office of Freight Management of Operations (HOFM) has released Freight Facts and Figures 2011. Among other topics, this publication reviews the volume and value of freight flows in the United States to assist decision makers, planners, and the public in recognizing the relationship between freight transportation and the economy.

Guide on The Consistent Application of Traffic Analysis Tools and Methods - 1/18/2012
The Federal Highway Administration, in support of the Traffic Analysis and Simulation Pooled Fund Study, initiated this study to identify and address consistency in the selection and use of traffic analysis tools. This report offers recommendations on the management, planning, and conduct of traffic analysis that will promote greater traffic analysis tool consistency over the typical project development life cycle. It is directed toward professionals operating in State departments of transportation and other agencies responsible for transportation project development and delivery.

Work Zone Road User Costs - Concepts and Applications - 1/10/2012
Work zone road user costs (WZ RUC) provide the economic basis for quantifying adverse work zone impacts which can then be used for effective decision-making to improve work zone mobility and safety. This report provides practitioners with information on WZ RUC components, concepts, and their applications in selecting the preferred Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) alternatives, project delivery/contracting strategies, and benefit-cost analysis. Step by step instructions are provided for key computations. Three "real-world" case studies from the Highways for LIFE program are presented to demonstrate the applications of WZ RUCs.