Metro Detroit Transportion Operations – October 2018

Freeway Operations Report

Sarah Gill reported on freeway operations activities. She is completed 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 report to key partners for their review. One of the general findings of the report was that clearance and roadway clearance times were not well separated.

An incident on I-275 near 7 Mile resulted in a freeway closure for more than 8 hours because the truck cargo included batteries. This kind of cargo can result in a need to clear hazardous materials, and the clearance effort can be time consuming. Emergency management notifications may be required.  MDOT staff will be attending a national conference on traffic incident management at the end of October.

One of the MDOT operations goals will be to unify outreach efforts. MDOT will be implementing control room advancements in the near future. More automation is expected to improve operations.

A new contractor for freeway courtesy patrol operations for the next few years has been selected. Incident Clear is expected to begin work on October 24.


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 updated plan for regional transportation operations is likely to include references to multimodal travel, freight movements, and automated vehicles. A second outreach stakeholders is planed for the last quarter of 2018,


American Center for Mobility Option for Partnering Workshop

Sarah Gill from MDOT reported on planning for a Partnering Workshop at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti near Willow Run Airport. Because MDOT can only one Partnering Workshop in a given year, the event at American Center for Mobility will be planned for June 2020. The March 7, 2019 Partnering Workshop will be held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building in Pontiac.

In 2020 a traffic incident workshop is planned 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. Initial planning for the event at the American Center for Mobility includes a mock incident illustrating the roles of different responders. The mock incident demonstration would be similar to the one on Belle Isle during the ITS World Congress in Detroit. There is also interest in showing how the advanced traffic management currently in use on US-23 near Ann Arbor might be applied on I-96 near Novi.

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

Sarah Gill reported that the Detroit Marathon is planed for October 21. Michigan State Police representatives were interested in knowing what their roles in this event might be. 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 will move to June in the future. A January 2019 Detroit Auto show is planned, but future shows will be in June.

Fire Service Report

The First Net cell service for first responders is now available from both AT&T and Verizon. This system gives priority to calls to and from first responders.

There was a 911 Memorial event in Lansing that addressed the road problem for first responders. The fire service Yellow Rose campaign addresses mental health for first responders The SE Michigan fire chiefs have identified the need for partnerships with emergency management in advance of the emergencies. Some first responders have been deployed to help with the response to the Florida hurricane. Post graduate training for homeland security is available.

On Wednesday October 3, 2018, FEMA conducted a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) to assess the readiness to distribute an emergency message nationwide and determine whether improvements are necessary. More information on the test is available at
In order to evaluate and validate the results of the test, FEMA invites the public to send comments on the nationwide EAS-WEA test to [email protected]. Valuable information on the effectiveness of a national WEA capability using the Presidential alert category includes:
• Whether your mobile device displayed one, more or no WEA test messages;
• The make, model and operating system version of your mobile device;
• Your wireless service provider;
• Whether the device was turned on and in the same location for at least 30 minutes after the start of the test (2:18 p.m. ET);
• The location of the device (as precise as possible), including the device’s environment (e.g. indoors or outdoors, rural or urban, mobile or stationary);
• Whether you are normally able to make calls, receive texts, or use apps at that location;
• Whether the mobile device was in use at the time of the alert (for a call or a data session); and
• Whether anyone else at your location received the WEA test alert message.


Statewide Traffic Incident Management Report from Sarah Gill

A new Statewide Traffic Incident Management Manager will be announced next month.

A statewide TIM meeting was held on October 3 at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute in Ann Arbor.

AAA Michigan will sponsor a program supporting the Move Over Law 10 am November 14 at the AAA Michigan Headquarters in Dearborn