Metro Detroit Transportation Systems Operations – January 2018


Date: January 12, 2018

Freeway Operations Report

Sarah Gill reported on freeway operations activities. She reported Joe Chapin is helping with traffic incident management outreach and after-action reviews. After action reviews can include water main breaks, where appropriate. Dayo Akinyemi has moved to a new position in Lansing. His replacement at SEMTOC will Aaron Raymond. The MDOT traffic management centers met in Lansing recently to review staff changes and the need for continuing training of operators. The training needed is a better understanding of traffic incident management (why they do what they do).

The flex route operation recently installed on US-23 north of Ann Arbor has seen some early success in using an enhanced shoulder to provide additional capacity during peak travel periods. Overhead lane use signs and dynamic speed advisory signs help to smooth the traffic flow and reduce vehicle conflicts.

Addressing the problem of wrong-way drivers on freeway lanes has been an emphasis area. Dynamic message signs on the freeway can be used to warn motorists of wrong-way drivers on a freeway segment. The Michigan State Police have prepared a you tube video to warn motorists about this safety issue

Draft Objectives for the Regional Concept of Transportation Operations
Chris Williams from SEMCOG outlined the process to update the Regional Concept of Transportation Operations. In 2007 SEMCOG, in collaboration and coordination with transportation service providers, public safety agencies and stakeholders in southeast Michigan developed a regional concept for transportation operations (RCTO). The effort set a vision and mission for guiding coordination and collaboration among transportation agencies, emergency services, and the media to improve regional operations. The concept of operations will be updated in 2018 to continue initiatives and efforts outlined in the previous RCTO and identify any shifted regional priorities or needs.

For Identifying priority corridors for future investments, the objective is within the next three to five years, update and maintain list of priority corridors to introduce operational improvements including upgraded communications, retiming plans, and standardization of equipment to facilitate seamless movement across jurisdictions for passenger travel including connected vehicles.

For Retime traffic signals regularly, the objective is within the next three to five years, the Arterial Traffic Management Committee will facilitate a regional traffic signal retiming program. The priority corridors identified would be the top candidates for signal retiming. Signals along corridors that cross multiple jurisdictions will be coordinated to make commuting across boundaries smoother. The result of these efforts will provide users with a more efficient, reliable, and safe commute.

For Clearing Incidents Quickly and Safely, the objective is within three to five years continue to reduce incident clearance times by supporting the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission Traffic Incident Management Action Team initiatives local to Southeast Michigan to increase first responder training, utilization of high-visibility equipment, and public education.

For Disseminate Operations Information, the objective is within the next three to five years, continue to promote freeway camera sharing among agencies and traffic operations centers, standardize, expand and improve communications between agencies; establish a centralized clearinghouse for information to include construction, incident, and congestion information.

Four workshops with local governments have been scheduled to review and refine the concept of operations. They will be February 1 at SEMTOC, February 6 at Road Commission for Oakland County, February 12 in Macomb County, and February 20 in Ann Arbor.

Fire Service Report

State Fire Marshal Kevin Schlmeyer shared his concern for responder safety. He has identified the need to train first responders. A recent survey of fire service responders identified a concern that they are not trained to work safely in the roadway. He noted that the Grand Rapids area has modified a dump truck to serve as a response vehicle to help protect fire trucks responding to a freeway fire. Fire training funds have been authorized for the traffic incident management training of fire service responders.

Ford Application for Enhanced Crash Location Warning Using Cloud Services

Ayush Shah from Ford Motor Company described a software application being developed to communicate with motorists through their smartphone. The application takes advantage of cloud services to inform public safety answering points when there is a roadway incident requiring emergency response. Questions about the availability of the information to 911 dispatch and appropriate responders are not completely resolved. The display of the information within the vehicle was another question discussed by those at the meeting. To be effective motorists would have to chose to install this application on their smartphones.

2018 Traffic Incident Management Partnering Workshop
The 2018 Partnering Workshop has been scheduled for March 8, 2018 at the Macomb County Community College South campus Expo Center. Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel has agreed to be a keynote speaker. The program will feature a panel discussion with representatives from County Roads, County Sheriff, and County Emergency Management.

. Statewide Traffic Incident Management Report

Angie Kremer from MDOT that nearly 6000 responders have taken the Michigan traffic incident management training. Approximately 20% of those were fire service and 12% were transportation. Additional training sessions have been scheduled for February 25 and 27 in Lansing.

Research studies on the public understanding of the “Steer it, clear it” law indicate that the public understanding of the law has increased from 13% to 50%. Senate Bill 477 proposes to refine the “Move over” law to spell out the required speed reduction in the presence of responder vehicles (10 mph). It would also specify yellow lights for tow vehicles