Metro Detroit Regional Transportation Operations – July 2018


Date: July 13, 2018
Time: 9:00 AM
Meeting Held: Southeast Michigan Transportation Operations Center (SEMTOC), Detroit, Michigan

Freeway Operations Report

Sarah Gill reported on freeway operations activities. She is completing an initial draft of the responses for the 2018 Self-Assessment for Metro Detroit Traffic Incident Management. This report is requested by the Federal Highway Administration. She will circulate this draft to key partners for their input, additions, and corrections.  MDOT convened an after- action review of the incident on I-75 where a construction worker was hit by a drunk driver. The conclusion of the review was need for improve the format of internal communications.  The I-75 construction project in southern Wayne County is scheduled for completion by November 30  Proposals for a contractor for freeway courtesy patrol operations for the next few years have been received, and an award will be announced in the next month or two.

Draft Objectives for the Regional Concept of Transportation Operations

Chris Williams from SEMCOG has 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.  The last time we had completed an aggregation of recommendations and categorized them. The plan was/is to take the information to the arterial operations committee, however that group has not met for some time. Instead of this group he will to try and reconvene the initial steering committee and present the recommendations and vet those there.

On-Scene Cameras for Traffic Incident Response

Mike Mazola from Integral Blue described the capabilities of the Skyline portable camera These cameras can be mounted on a vehicle on the scene of a traffic incident to provide video images to remote locations. The cellular cameras provide images that are easy to share. The cameras can be mounted on the top of a vehicle or inside the vehicle on the dashboard. Cameras can also be operated from a tethered drone to provide aerial images of the incident scene.  The mobile CCTV can be mounted on service patrol vehicles for scene and queue monitoring. The cameras can be mounted on snow plows, emergency vehicles and fire trucks More than one of these fixed mount pan, tilt, and zoom cameras can be mounted on a vehicle to allow an agency to monitor both the incident and the queue at the same time. Departments of Transportation have used these cameras for faster/safer incident response, better situational awareness, monitoring traffic flow, and weather response. These cameras can monitor major events, and they allow an agency to gain coverage in areas where they do not have cameras. This video can be shared with partner agencies.

An overview of the MDOT Statewide Video Sharing Platform (Claris) is available.
o MPLS network extended from McLean Data center to WMTOC, SEMTOC, and STOC (located at Program Office). Video is collected at each TOC and transported back to McLean. Remote sites pulled directly back to McLean.
o Snapshots from cameras are currently being provided to MI Drive from Video Sharing appliances.
o Statewide map with cameras and able to pull up to 4 cameras at a time that display on the bottom of the window.
o Incidents page that gets feed from ATMS and pulls up 4 nearest cameras available
o Wall page can save views of multiple cameras (up to 18 in one view). Can be saved for individual or organizational use


American Center for Mobility Option for 2018 Traffic Incident Management Workshop

Aaron Raymond from MDOT discussed the possibility of the traffic incident workshop at the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti. The Center has the ability to provide multiple roadway scenarios for traffic incident response. This would provide an alternative format for a meeting of traffic incident response partners. A decision on the demonstrations to be provided would be needed to proceed with this option. It could be an all-day event with a series of demonstrations provided. Early discussions indicated that an event like this in March would be subject to the wide variations in weather and May might be a better choice for the demonstrations. Because demonstrations are best viewed by groups of less than 100 people, it may be appropriate to have one event focused on partnering and a second event focused on demonstrations. A partnering event has been scheduled for the morning of March 7, 2019 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building on Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford.


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 incidents with road closures during the Charity Preview this year. The Auto Show may move to June in the future. A January 2019 Detroit Auto show is planned, but future shows may be in June.


Michigan Specifications for Traffic Signal Controllers

The Macomb County Department of Roads has been using traffic signal controllers from several different manufacturers to allow some flexibility in changing traffic signal timing plans based on camera input from local intersections. Michigan Department of Transportation specifications for traffic signal controllers had limited the choice of controllers for intersections on the state system, but that specification has been modified to allow controllers from more than one supplier.


Statewide Traffic Incident Management Report from Dawn Miller

1) More than 6500 first responders have been trained. Updated materials for Mi-TIME responder training rolled out in February 2018 with more videos and enhanced content.

2) ITS America 2018 Annual Meeting – Emergency Responder Day was held on June 6, 2018 at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Emergency responders were able to attend the conference for free on this day. Attendees experienced: keynote address from Governor Rick Snyder and Mark Ruess, VP for Global Development at General Motors; guided tour of booths in exhibit hall with specific relevance to first responders; current developments in pavement markings and roadway sign materials, and in-vehicle demonstrations of roadside and connected vehicle technology.

3) TIM Action Team is open to everyone interested in learning about and promoting traffic incident management. Next meeting is August 1, 2018 in Lansing area at MDOT Horatio Earle Learning Center, 7575 Crowner Dr., Dimondale, MI 48821. Contact Dawn Miller at [email protected] to receive meeting invite.


Mike Loper from Oakland County Emergency Management reported that FEMA Flooding Training will be conducted August 24 at the Oakland County International Airport.