Metro Detroit Regioal Transportation Operations – July 2019


Role of the Salvation Army in Emergency Response

Chuck McDougall from the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services outlined the Salvation Army role in response to local disasters. The Eastern Michigan Division covers the eastern portion of Michigan’s lower peninsula. The Salvation Army provides:

• On site response
• Feeding and hydration for first responders and victims of disaster
• Emotional and spiritual counseling
• Emergency shelter when needed
• Emergency food, clothing, prescriptions

Past local responses have included a Detroit Commercial Building fire. ,a Waterford Bowling Alley fire, a Dundee Tornado, a Dexter Tornado, the 9 Mile/I-75 Bridge Collapse and Tanker/Car Fire, and a Romulus Chemical plant explosion. In addition to supporting first responders and victims at time of crisis, The Salvation Army also supports the community by participating in Noel Night in the Cultural Center, Kids Day at Belle Isle, the International Freedom Festival Fireworks, MS walks and bike rides, and Dick Purtan’s Bed and Bread Radiothon.

The Emergency Disaster Services Team exists to serve people in need due to any disruption of their normal life. The Salvation Army will respond and provide not only food, beverage, and shelter ,but also spiritual counseling. They respond promptly and stay until the crisis is over. The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. It preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ and meets human need in His name without discrimination.

Adaptive Traffic Signal Control

Josh Fink from Econolite described traffic signal technology trends. His past experience includes work at the Macomb County Department of Roads COMTEC center in Mt. Clemens. He described central, regionalized traffic signal management platforms and Hi-resolution signal data and adaptive traffic systems. In 2009 we could upload, download, and compare. We could manage a database, monitor status, and set the controller clock. In 2016, we could steam video from CCTV networks, analyze signal operations, operate adaptive traffic solutions, maintain asset inventories, dispatch technicians on trouble tickets, manage dynamic message sign systems, and alert agencies to malfunctioning field equipment

Regionalized traffic signal management platforms have flexible priority with configurable class levels Adaptive systems provide a heads up on abnormally out of range metric. This information leads to recommended optimization in improve coordination along corridor signals. More data can lead to stronger systems. Central management platforms provide opportunities for collaboration and regionalization of resources.

Freeway Operations Update

Aaron Raymond and Sarah Gill from MDOT reported on freeway operations issues. Sarah outlined the results of the Self-Assessment required by the Federal Highway Administration. The Detroit Region score was 67. Areas of improvement from the previous year included better ability to track incident duration. The region should agree on a goal for traffic incident clearance time.

Aaron reported that data on crashes is more complete in Metro Detroit than in other parts of the state. MDOT is exploring the possibility of automated traffic incident detection.

Next Generation 911

Chris DiStefano, one of two IT Systems and Dispatch Supervisors for Canton Public Safety described the benefits of NestGen911.

The NextGen911 system will allow callers to share videos, images, and texts with dispatch centers. new
NextGen911 will be able to take data and notifications for digitally connected devices such as car computers, computerized home alarms, building sensors and wearable monitors. This information will be routed through NG911 from callers to Public Safety Answering Points. Once standards and interfaces are developed, a variety of applications and software will allow the flow of data for NG911 through FirstNet – the wireless broadband network used by public safety responders.

NG911 systems will replace the nation’s current 911 infrastructure, which is largely comprised of old, less flexible technology. NG911 offers a more robust interconnected and reliable infrastructure with faster transfer of calls between PSAPs. NG911 is an internet protocol system that will replace the existing 911 analog infrastructure. In cases of natural disasters, calls can easily be transferred for one PSAP to another even if a PSAP is physically damaged. The digital system makes it easier to load-share between PSAPs which is critical to a 911 system’s responsiveness and the need to coordinate multiple agencies. Not only does this make the 911 system more resilient, it also ensures access to more real-time information for 911 dispatchers, law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical services.

NG911 will be built by states, counties, municipalities, and regional authorities. These 911 systems are all funded and managed differently. NG911 will be launched in each state according to its own unique circumstances and governance. Michigan was one of the first states to adopt and build up the infrastructure allowing local agencies to proceed with migrating and updating their individual PSAPs to be NG911 ready.

Working in conjunction with the Conferences of Western Wayne, Canton Township along with 11 other local agencies have been in the process of making their PSAPs NG911 ready. Canton Township, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Huron Township, Livonia, Northville Township, Plymouth,, Redford Township, Romulus, Van Buren Township, Wayne County Airport Authority, and Westland Police Departments make up the Western Wayne communities participating in this transition. The projected go live date for all of these agencies in some time in October.

Traffic Planning for the 2020 Auto Show

Carl Berry from the North American International Show outlined plans for the Detroit Auto Show in June of 2020. The Grand Prix on Belle Ilse will precede the June 2020 Auto Show by about a week. Tentative schedule dates are

June 18-20 Test Days
June 12 Charity Preview using both Cobo Hall and Hart Plaza
June 15-20 Public Days
June 22 Fireworks

There will be a baseball game in the mix during the event. The attendance at the event will be approximately 1.4 million. Vehicles on display will be in the 1100 to 1400 range. Autonomous vehicles will be demonstrated. An event on Belle Ilse may be added to the mix.

Statewide Traffic Incident Management

Dawn Miller reported on statewide traffic incident management activities.

TIM Action Team: June meeting held at MSP St. Ignace post and had interesting presentation from Kim Nowack, Mackinac Bridge Authority Chief Engineer, on “Managing Incidents on the Mackinac Bridge”. Everyone invited to attend next TIM Action Team meeting scheduled for August 7 at MDOT Horatio Earle Learning Center – 7575 Crowner Dr. Dimondale, MI 48821. All meetings available in person with conference call/webinar options as well: 1-888-850-4523 Access Code 494922; webinar link:

2020 Traffic Safety Summit: Planning another TIM Sampler as breakout session; exploring ideas to submit for general session on TIM.

Mi-TIME: Target for 2019-2022 TIM Action Plan is 50% (16278) of responders trained statewide by 12/31/2022. Total responders trained statewide as of 7/11/19 is 7,349 which is 22.6% of all responders. Breakdown by discipline has 20.5% law enforcement, 25% DOT/roads and 46.3% fire/rescue responders trained. Other disciplines trained are less than 20%. Mi-TIME training now approved by State 911 Committee for CE credits for dispatchers. Mi-TIME instructors need to have submitted and received approval from State 911 Committee prior to instructing course for dispatch attendees to receive credit for Mi-TIME training.

Regional Conference: Conference is free and held in Kentucky this year October 24-25. Attendees invited from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Kentucky will host this conference for third and final year. Next year another state will need to host. Michigan is considering hosting this conference for 2020.

National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week (NTIRAW): TIM activities being planned for this event taking place November10-16, 2019. For the last several years, a press conference has been held during this event at AAA Headquarters in Dearborn. This year, a new location is being considered for the press conference, possibly Grand Rapids area, to expand outreach and awareness of TIM response. Planning to hold at least one Mi-TIME training in each of 7 different regions statewide during this week.