Detroit Regional Transportation Operations – April 2018


Freeway Operations Report

Barbara Swan reported on freeway operations activities. 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. Travel Times in the Metro Region are being transitioned over to INRIX data from Here data causing some of our travel time paths to be inaccurate. We have overridden the DMS to display safety messages in our region and are working inhouse to modify and correct the travel time paths for accuracy throughout the region. We are working with state agencies (MSP & other LEO agencies) to establish a more direct line of communication with FCP & responding agencies during an event. DEQ would like to be notified of every and all spills on our roadways. John Accavitti is the new SEMTOC Operations Manager and Barbara Swan is the new TOC Specialist. I-75 Mega Project in the Metro Region is working on schedule.

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 were held to review and refine the concept of operations. They were at SEMTOC, Road Commission for Oakland County, and Ann Arbor.

Traffic Planning for Detroit Auto Show, Fireworks, Grand Prix, Marathon and other Special Events

Carl Berry from the North American International Auto Show discussed traffic planning for the Auto Show and other specials events in Detroit. The planning is intended to assure that attendees enter and exit the event safely and efficiently. Security for these events is very important. Planning for the Charity Preview at the Auto Show assumes that it is its own separate event because the requirements are different than those for the week-long event that follows. There were some minor accidents during the Charity Preview this year. The Auto Show may move to a different time of year in the future. Organizers are considering an October event. The 2019 show may be split into two dates – one in January and one in October. There likely will not be a January 2020 Auto Show if a fall event can be organized.

2018 Traffic Incident Management Partnering Workshop

On March 8th, 2018, approximately 110 members from across the traffic incident management (TIM) community gathered for the 13th annual Southeast Michigan Traffic Incident Management Partnering Workshop at the Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan. Participants in the workshop ranged from professionals in police, fire, emergency medical services, public safety answering points, towing companies, freeway service patrol operators, and road agencies from the state, county and municipal levels. Chris Williams from SEMCOG reported on workshop evaluations provided by the participants. Overall ratings of the workshop were good to excellent. The traffic operations center discussion was well-received. Video sharing is important and making camera images available for public safety answering points would be helpful.

Regional Transportation Authority Funding

Carmine Palombo from SEMCOG introduced the document Connect Southeast Michigan, a framework summary. It outlines the latest plans for improving regional transit service. It was developed by the Regional Transportation Authority to frame the discussion about improved regional transit funding, which could be on the ballot in November 2018. The vision is improving the frequency and reliability of service, modernization and innovation, local input on expanded local services, and a seamless rider experience. The plan is for 15 routes with 15-minute frequencies; 15 new express regional routes connecting major destinations across the four counties; commuter rail service connecting Ann Arbor to Detroit; hometown service and core flexible mobility; and technology, infrastructure and systems investments. The projected funding for these improvements would be 1.5 mills. The transit authority must decide by August 14 whether to put this on the November ballot. The four county executives have been consulted, but a final agreement has not yet been achieved.

Statewide Traffic Incident Management Report

Angie Kremer from MDOT that nearly 6200 responders have taken the Michigan traffic incident management training. Approximately 20% of those were fire service and 12% were transportation. Nationally, 20% of fire service responders are trained. In Michigan it is 50%. 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%. June 6 will be First Responder Day at ITS America in Detroit. ITS America is hoping to include a VIP tour of the exhibits as part of this event.