Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program

4. Conclusion

This report presents the results of research done 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 assessment of TMP strategy effectiveness.

Practitioners expressed their desire for information that would facilitate the assessment of TMP strategies. If TMP strategies are more regularly and thoroughly assessed, practitioners would be able both to share their experiences and learn from their peers. Disseminating this knowledge gained from TMP strategy assessment would further advance a practitioner's ability to design and implement a successful work zone by confidently selecting and deploying TMP strategies that had been well-assessed and had produced positive results.

Both the literature review and the stakeholder outreach effort revealed that most important MOEs fall into one of the four following categories:

  1. Safety;
  2. Mobility;
  3. Construction efficiency (including cost) and effectiveness; and
  4. Public perception and satisfaction.

Many State DOTs are already collecting data (qualitative and quantitative) in work zones for the purpose of TMP strategy evaluation. This report provides examples of assessments that have been done on traffic control devices, ITS strategies, speed management (including law enforcement), queue management, PCMS, public outreach, nighttime only work zones, and detours/driver diversions.

As validated through research, one or more of these three approaches is typically used to assess TMP strategies:

  1. Qualitative evaluation;
  2. Quantitative evaluation; and
  3. Hybrid evaluation.

Each TMP strategy assessment can be conducted through one of the following five evaluation scopes:

  1. Full scale evaluation of all strategies on a project;
  2. Agency-wide evaluation of a single TMP strategy;
  3. Research evaluation of multiple agency deployment of a single strategy;
  4. Case study of a single strategy at one location; and
  5. Process review

This report provides successful application examples of the various assessment approaches and scopes listed above. Each evaluation approach has its own advantages and disadvantages, which researchers and public agencies should to consider when selecting how to conduct TMP strategy assessments. It is likely that in order to find the best evaluation approach and to determine the most effective TMP strategy for a work zone, practitioners will apply a combination of these methods and scopes.

Lastly, the following areas should be addressed in order to facilitate more widespread adoption of TMP strategy assessment:

  1. Standard definitions of strategies and performance measures;
  2. Comparing effectiveness and identifying suitable strategies for various project features:
    1. Methodology and/or tools to compare TMP strategy evaluations that use different measures of effectiveness,
    2. Determination of the relative cost effectiveness of TMP strategies,
    3. Anticipation of results when combining multiple strategies;
  3. Identification of a mechanism for information exchange on sharing best practices for TMP strategy selection, deployment, and evaluation and for sharing the results of evaluations; and
  4. Increasing the use of simulation and modeling tools for TMP strategy evaluation.

Despite these challenges, practitioners expressed that widespread assessment of TMP strategies is feasible and would provide valuable information to support TMP strategy selection in work zones.

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