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21st century operations using 21st century technologies

Operations News - Archive

News Archive

Sharing Work Zone Effective Practices for Design-Build Projects - 12/12/2016
This project constitutes the second phase of previous work to develop design-build projects and work zones resources. This new report is intended to share effective practices and guidance on work zone management, quality assurance, and transportation management plan (TMP) development for design-build projects.

Integrated Corridor Management and the Smart Cities Revolution: Leveraging Synergies - 12/12/2016
Because smart cities and integrated corridor management (ICM) are so fundamentally similar in terms of their requirements and objectives, this primer focuses on opportunities for co-deployment synergies and how approaches and lessons learned from one initiative can be translated to the other. The institutional relationships, operational processes, and technical methods developed as part of the successful ICM deployment may be extended across different regions and across different public service areas as part of a broader smart cities program. Both ICM and the smart cities philosophies share the same challenges inherent in coordinating among various stakeholders. This primer is intended to encourage these groups to think broadly about how to go about creating smart cities and how integrated corridor management can help achieve each stakeholder group's goals.

National Coalition on Truck Parking Meeting on December 12, 2016 - 12/8/2016
The U.S. Department of Transportation will be hosting a meeting of the National Coalition on Truck Parking on December 12, 2016. The National Coalition on Truck Parking brings together stakeholders from the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Maritime Administration, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, American Trucking Association, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and Nation Association of Truck Stop Operators to advance safe truck parking. To RSVP or more information, please send an e-mail to:

2016 Freight Quick Facts Report - 11/22/2016
Our Nation's freight transportation system consists of a vast network of roads, railways, navigable channels, and pipelines that connect hundreds of seaports, airports, and intermodal facilities in the movement of raw materials and finished products throughout the country. This report provides practitioners and the public at large with a user-friendly source of information about this vital system, focusing on answering a wide-range of freight-related questions, particularly about how the sector has changed over the past several years. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the extent and usage of freight infrastructure in the United States. Chapter 2 discusses the impacts of this freight transportation system on the economy, environment, and society. Chapter 3 concludes by summarizing key freight trends and providing an overview of policy and funding issues in the sector.

Research Data Exchange (RDE) Adds More Data Environments for Download - 11/21/2016
The Research Data Exchange (RDE), a web-based portal that provides access to archived and real-time multi-source and multi-modal data to support the development and testing of ITS-related applications and transportation management operational strategies, has added a number of new data environments that are available free to the public.

Transportation Management Plan Effectiveness Framework and Pilot - 11/2/2016
This report was prepared to help practitioners formulate and follow clear, consistent approach towards assessing the effectiveness of Transportation Management Plan (TMP) strategies. This publication provides an inventory of the measures-of-effectiveness (MOEs) that each of the TMP strategies may affect at a particular work zone, depending on the characteristics of that work zone and other TMP strategies that are used. An overall framework is presented to guide analysts on the available approaches towards TMP strategy effectiveness evaluations, possible scopes of those evaluations, and potential analytical methods. A synthesis of evaluations is also for those TMP strategies for which previous and current literature and data were available.

Planning for Transportation Systems Management and Operations Within Corridors: A Desk Reference - 11/1/2016
This Desk Reference is designed to equip State, regional, and local transportation operations and planning professionals with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively plan for and implement transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) within a corridor.

Improving Business Processes for More Effective Transportation Systems Management and Operations - 11/1/2016
Many agencies are shaping their Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) programs to more effectively address those planned and unplanned events that affect road and travel conditions and can have an effect on overall system reliability. Business processes, in the context of TSMO, refers to activities such as planning, programming, agency project development processes, and those organizational aspects that govern various technical or administrative activities (such as training, human resource management, or agreements). Business processes get at the heart of many of the organizational issues that can influence TSMO. This primer presents business processes across several TSMO areas, including traffic incident management, planned special event traffic management, road weather management, work zones, and freeway traffic management. Case studies in each area illustrate where agencies have made concerted changes to their respective business processes, and modified aspects such as contracting, training, resource allocation, planning and other business processes. The primer also highlights available tools and resources to help assess business processes, provides strategies for engaging the right stakeholders, and provides a guide to next steps.

Public Perception of Safety Messages and Public Service Announcements on Dynamic Message Signs in Rural Areas - 10/5/2016
The objective of this project was to assess the effectiveness and potential benefits of posting public service announcements (PSAs) in rural areas by surveying a variety of travelers in those areas, including local residents, tourists, and long-haul truck drivers. This project addressed a number of questions related to safety awareness and PSA messages on dynamic message signs (DMS), including: driver awareness, driver understanding, changes in driver behavior, and drivers' opinions.

Transportation Management Center Video Recording and Archiving Best General Practices - 10/5/2016
This report presents a cross section of how different agencies are addressing video recording and sharing topics—drawn from a literature review, online inquiry, interviews, and expert input. Since State and local regulatory, policy, operational, and fiscal environments differ (in some cases quite significantly) it is a challenge to identify one-size-fits-all best practices. Therefore this report presents best general practices for Transportation Management Center (TMC) leaders to consider and in some instances recognizes that several different practices might apply (specific to the needs of an agency or organization).

The Open Source Application Development Portal Adds More Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Applications for Download - 10/3/2016
The Open Source Application Development Portal (OSADP) is a web-based portal that provides access to and supports the collaboration, development, and use of open-source ITS-related applications. The OSADP features source code, software, applications, and resources (e.g., documentation, licenses, data) to support the use or further development of these applications. The OSADP has added a number of new ITS-related applications that are available free to the public: 1) Dynamic Intermodal Routing Environment for Control and Telematics - Analysis, Modeling and Simulation (DIRECTView-AMS; 2) Intelligent Network Flow Optimization Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation (AMS); and 3) Connected and Automated Speed Harmonization.

Freight Analysis Framework Inter-Regional Commodity Flow Forecast Study - 9/27/2016
This technical report accompanies the 2012 base-year Freight Analysis Framework Forecasts (FAF4) submitted to the FHWA Office of Freight Management and Operations. The technical report outlines the data and methodology employed to develop freight forecasts using the 2012 base-year FAF data for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and long-term forecasts in five-year increments from 2020 to 2045. This report also analyzes the resulting FAF4 forecasts, summarizing the observed trends and the outlook for domestic, imported, and exported goods movement for the United States. Included are detailed breakdowns by major commodity class and, for international trade, by key trade region. Three scenarios driven by different macroeconomic assumptions are analyzed and presented.

Use of Narrow Lanes and Narrow Shoulders on Freeways: A Primer on Experiences, Current Practice, and Implementation Considerations - 9/6/2016
This primer provides information to policy makers, transportation agency managers, designers and operators on the use of narrow lanes and narrow shoulders to improve capacity within an existing roadway footprint. Much of the information contained in the primer is presented in the broader context of both Performance Based Planning and Programming (PBPP) and Performance — Based Practical Design (PBPD). Primer contents include case studies on the use of narrow lanes, issues and approaches for analyzing the operational and safety impacts of narrow lanes and narrow shoulders, and the role of transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) in support of narrow lanes operations.

Urban Congestion Trend Reports for 2015 Available - 8/23/2016
The 2015 Urban Congestion Trend annual report is now available, providing annual congestion and reliability measure trend information as well as highlighting evaluations of successful operations strategies. (FHWA-HOP-16-032)

2017 SOLAR ECLIPSE Transportation Fact Sheet for State and Local Departments of Transportation - 8/17/2016
To help the 14 states under the path of the first solar eclipse to transverse the continental United States since 1918, FHWA has prepared the 2017 Solar Eclipse Transportation Fact Sheet for State and Local Departments of Transportation. With approximately 200 million people living within a day's drive of the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse, the fact sheet was designed to alert state and local DOTs of the eclipse, provide the link for events and festivals to celebrate the event in the 14 states; and if appropriate, to provide information should the states need to develop transportation plans.

Public Roads Editorial: Fostering America's Freight Economy - 8/4/2016
The FAST Act delivers programs and critical funding to reenergize investment in the movement of goods in the United States. (FHWA Public Roads July/August 2016)

Regional Assessment of Weather Impacts on Freight - 7/18/2016
This project follows up on a study completed for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 2012 that provided a national estimate of weather-related delay affecting the trucking industry. The initial estimate indicated that weather-related delay costs the industry $8 billion to $9 billion annually. The goal of this study is to conduct a more detailed assessment of the impacts of adverse weather on freight movement in 13 diverse geographic regions, including both urban and rural corridors. The analysis presented in this report indicates that, overall, weather events have a significant negative impact on traffic speeds—and, therefore, the freight industry—when analyzed at the regional level. In this report's study area, which focuses solely on a limited set of major highways, decreased traffic speeds due to weather events are estimated to cost the freight industry $3.8 million per year. The study found that ice, snow, fog, heavy rain, wind, and extreme temperature events were the most correlated with reduced traffic speeds, with the largest decreases occurring during the first hour of storms. Adverse weather was shown to have a greater correlation with decreased traffic speeds during peak hours.

Smartphone Applications To Influence Travel Choices: Practices and Policies - 7/6/2016
This primer provides an overview of current practices in this emerging field and looks toward the future in the evolution and development of smartphone applications for the transportation sector.

Integrated Corridor Management and Traffic Incident Management: A Primer - 7/6/2016
This primer will examine both how traffic incident management (TIM) can be integrated into an integrated corridor management (ICM) approach, as well as the many benefits resulting from ICM that can contribute to the advancement of TIM programs.

Shared Mobility: Current Practices and Guiding Principles - 7/5/2016
This primer provides an introduction and background to shared mobility; discusses the government's role; reviews success stories; examines challenges, lessons learned, and proposed solutions; and concludes with guiding principles for public agencies. The primer provides an overview of current practices in this emerging field, and it also looks toward the future in the evolution and development of shared mobility.

Congestion Pricing - A Primer: Effective Approaches to Streamlining Back Office Operations - 7/5/2016
The document explores the range of back office issues that have arisen on congestion pricing projects throughout the United States. The issues are organized into eight categories: policy decisions, interoperability back office efficiency, enforcement, data analysis and warehousing, transparency, privacy, and private sector involvement.

Integrated Corridor Management and Freight Opportunities - 6/28/2016
This primer examines how freight can be incorporated into an integrated corridor management (ICM) approach, as well as the benefits of ICM in addressing the freight challenge.

Integrated Corridor Management, Transit, and Mobility on Demand - 6/28/2016
This primer examines how both public transportation and mobility on demand can be incorporated into an integrated corridor management approach.

The Freight Economy - 6/27/2016
Learn more about the interconnected network of almost seven million miles of highways, local roads, railways, navigable waterways and pipelines that move food, energy, goods and raw materials to keep citizens employed, communities healthy and the Nation competitive.

Guide to Project Coordination for Minimizing Work Zone Mobility Impacts - 6/2/2016
This new publication provides guidance on using work zone Project Coordination (PC) to minimize work zone impacts and produce time and achieve cost savings. This Guide presents key concepts of PC, examples of useful tools to facilitate PC, and case studies of how PC was used to improve agency management of complex construction programs.

FHWA Publishes Proposed Freight and System Performance Measure Rules - 4/22/2016
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration today published a rulemaking that proposes new performance measures to assess system performance, freight movement, and the CMAQ program. The proposed regulation calls for an increased level of transparency and accountability in establishing and achieving targets for performance impacting commuters and truck drivers.

National Symposium on Work Zones and Large Trucks - 3/24/2016
The National Symposium on Work Zones and Large Trucks was held as a one-day event at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida, on April 13, 2015. The objective of the symposium was to exchange experiences and identify solutions to further improve large truck safety and mobility in and around work zones.

Part-Time Shoulder Use Guide - 3/21/2016
The FHWA Office of Operations has developed a guide to assist agencies in planning, designing, implementing, and operating part-time shoulder use strategies that can be used to relieve congested bottlenecks and improve traffic flow and congestion related crashes. The guide was developed based on interviews with agencies that have deployed shoulder use treatments, interviews with various FHWA subject matter experts, and research on relevant safety and operations effects and analytical techniques. This guide outlines a process and covers a range of topics that will help agencies evaluate or advance shoulder use concepts in their states or regions in a more consistent manner.

Road Weather Management Performance Measures: 2015 Update - 3/16/2016
This report explains and summarizes the results of survey, data collection and analyses conducted in 2015 to quantify the performance measures and indicators used to evaluate road weather management programs and practices in the country. It also updates the assessment made in 2013.

Business Process Frameworks for Transportation Operations - 3/1/2016
The FHWA Office of Operations led the development of six Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSM&O) capability maturity frameworks (CMF) which build upon the TSM&O Capability Maturity Model developed under SHRP2 and incorporated into the AASHTO Systems Operations and Management Guidance. The six CMF's provide focused assessment and suggested actions in each of the following operations program areas: Traffic Management, Traffic Incident Management, Planned Special Events, Work Zone Management, Road Weather Management, and Traffic Signal Control.

Advancing Transportation Systems Management and Operations Through Scenario Planning - 2/19/2016
The intent of this primer is to inform planners, operators, and other transportation systems management and operations (TSM&O) partners on the potential use of scenario planning to advance TSM&O. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-16-016)

Climate Change Adaptation Guide for Transportation Systems Management, Operations, and Maintenance - 2/19/2016
This guide provides information and resources to help transportation management, operations, maintenance and emergency management staff incorporate climate change into their planning and ongoing activities.

Congestion Pricing - A Primer: Evolution of Second Generation Pricing Projects - 1/20/2016
This primer explores the evolution of first-generation pricing strategies into more complex express toll lanes using new or expanded capacity.

Freight Performance Measure Approaches for Bottlenecks, Arterials, and Linking Volumes to Congestion Report - 1/15/2016
FHWA's Office of Freight Management and Operations (HOFM) releases this work on approaches to understanding freight bottlenecks to support national, State and MPO freight analysis and planning. This is important because identifying bottlenecks and assessing magnitude of impact helps to identify which bottlenecks need to prioritized for capital or operational improvements. This work evaluates various approaches to understanding bottlenecks and provides guidance on methods to best assess freight flow on the NHS while focusing specifically on arterials and also understanding areas of greatest impact by linking volume analysis to bottleneck assessment. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-15-033)

Measuring the Impacts of Freight Transportation Improvements on the Economy and Competitiveness - 1/15/2016
FHWA's Office of Freight Management and Operations (HOFM) is working to develop resources to support States and MPOs in understanding freight and its relationship to U.S. economic competitive and cost. This will help them to better articulate how freight investments and projects impact the economy and to improve project and plan evaluation. While much more work needs to be done in this area of economics, this resource provides guidance, methodology, descriptions of resources and considerations for the effective application of economic analysis for freight. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-15-034)

Traffic Signal Management Plans - 1/12/2016
An Objectives and Performance based approach for Improving the Design Operations and Maintenance of Traffic Signal Systems provides step-by-step instructions for documenting current activities, relating them to the agency's goals and transportation objectives, and offers a structure that shows how the activities of all staff involved in traffic signal management support those objectives. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-15-038)