SE Michigan Regional Transportation Operations – July 2013


Date: July 12, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM
Meeting Held: Southeast Michigan Transportation Operations Center (SEMTOC), Detroit, Michigan

ITS World Congress in Detroit

Michele Mueller from MDOT is taking a leading role in planning for the 2014 Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress in Detroit. A copy of her presentation to the joint Institute of Transportation Engineer/ITS Michigan meeting is attached to provide the highlights of this Congress. Detroit will be a showcase for ITS technologies in September 2014.

User Delay Software Demonstration

Aaron Raymond from the Michigan Department of Transportation Metro Region Office provided a summary of the new software MDOT is using to document user delays on Metro Detroit freeways. The software is referred to as the Regional Transportation Information System (RITIS). The software uses historic probe data to identify trends in freeway operations. One of the outputs is user delay. It allows MDOT to quantify the impacts traffic incidents and changes in freeway operations strategies. This is a tool that could be used as part of “after action” reviews. Application of this tool has emphasized the need for an emphasis of Michigan’s Quick Clearance law. The software can be used as a tool to justify freeway closures as an operational strategy when the use of alternate routes would be more effective than multiple lane closures. A copy of the presentation is attached.


Traffic Planning for the Detroit Auto Show

Carl Berry, Chief of Security for the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, outlined the traffic planning issues encountered by the Detroit International Auto Show. The Charity Preview attracts 17,000 people, and Security plans for one car for every two people attending the show. All buses are directed to come in to the area on Atwater and park in a color coded area. Limousines are directed to the Cobo front entrance. Private police are used for traffic control. The secure area for VIP arrivals is in the dock area. A typical Auto Show would attract 7 to 8 U.S Cabinet members.

Traffic patterns will change for the 2014 Show and beyond because of the Cobo Hall expansion and the new parking arrangements. One million visitors are expected in 2014, an increase from the 800,000 visitors in 2013. The Show attracts 800 press reporters from around the world and has a $300 to $400 million economic impact. A snow plan is needed because of the January timing of the event. A new park is being added to the front of Cobo Hall, and this will change the appearance and operation of the Cobo entrance. The People Mover is very helpful in getting visitors to and from their parking areas during the show. There will be less parking available at Cobo after the renovations are complete. The 2014 Show is expecting representatives from 62 to 70 countries.

The Show uses an Incident Command Center during the Auto Show, and the Coordinating Committee has been invited to hold its October 25 meeting at the Cobo Command Center.

Statewide Traffic Incident Management Report

Angie Kremer from MDOT reported on statewide traffic incident management activities. Hold harmless legislation is intended to allow responders to push vehicles blocking travel lanes off to the side of the road without being sued by the vehicle owner. It facilitates safe, quick clearance. MSP and MDOT have drafted a bill to be considered by the legislature. The bill will start in the House Transportation Committee.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Committee now includes Traffic Incident Management as an emphasis area. A Strategic Plan and Goals are being developed. The priorities for this Action Team to increase the awareness of the “Steer it, Clear it” law, to pass a “Hold Harmless” law, and to facilitate Traffic Incident Management Training. The MDOT research study found that only 13% of the public currently understands the “Steer it, Clear it” law, and the near term objective is to increase this proportion to 60%.

The 2016 Traffic Crash Report form will include a space to capture secondary crashes. This information should help to quantify crashes resulting from traffic incidents. MDOT will be conducting traffic incident management workshops in Marquette, Flint, Ionia County, and Muskegon later this year. A traffic incident management operations plan is being developed for southwest Michigan.

Arterial Traffic Management
The Arterial Traffic Management Committee will hold a brainstorming meeting at the MDOT Metro Region Office in Southfield at 9 am on August 14.

Next Meeting
The next meeting for the Southeast Michigan Regional Transportations Operations Coordinating Committee is scheduled for October 25, 2013 at the Cobo Hall Operations Center.