Southeast Michigan Regional Transportation Operations Coordinating Committee – July 10, 2020




Date: July 10, 2020​

Freeway and Arterial Operations Update

Aaron Raymond from MDOT reported on freeway and arterial operations issues.  He reported that freeway traffic volumes had returned to 80% of the level before the pandemic shutdown in March of 2020.  There are still traffic incidents on the freeways, and the Freeway Courtesy Patrol is still functioning   The Courtesy Patrol has been used to redirect traffic when arterial streets were closed by protest marches.

John Abraham reported that arterial traffic volumes in Macomb County are down about 15% from levels experienced before March 2020.  Traffic signals in Macomb County have been operating in off-peak mode because of the reduced traffic volumes.

TIM Partnering Workshop Plans for 2020

The TIM Partnering Workshop for 2020 to be held at the Washtenaw County Community College in Ann Arbor on May 21, 2020 has been postponed to May 13, 2021.

Traffic Planning for Detroit Events.

Carl Berry provided notes with the following information:

1. Fireworks – The fireworks for Detroit will be taking place on August 31st at sunset.  NAIAS Security Service will be providing security for the barges at the same location for the week or so prior to the firing date.  There will also be a small group of VIPs’ at the usual location the night of the fireworks.  This is supposed to be a TV only event, but I suspect there will be a very large crowd in the Downtown area anyway, because Hart Plaza will not be closed, and people are becoming defiant of orders to stay away.

2. Thanksgiving Day Parade has not been canceled at this time that I am aware of.

3. All activities that require security at the Port Authority with the incoming ships have been canceled until 2021.  In 2021 the amount of incoming cruise ships will be expanding.

Traffic Signal Updates and Connected Vehicle Communication on Gratiot (M-3)

Michele Mueller, MDOT’S senior project manager for connected and automated vehicles provided a traffic and signal update for M-3 (Gratiot) in relation to connected and automated technologies.

Technology allows people to communicate and navigate without interruption, but these advances have also contributed to driving fatalities.  Driver behavior factors into 90% of fatal crashes.

There are hardware challenges associated with developing of a CAV system for this corridor.  

• Different standards and specifications for each piece of hardware

• Integrating existing systems with new systems

• Planning the integration

The solutions in CAV regulation involve:

• Providing supportive data in use cases for allocation of the spectrum to safety

• Conducting Project pilots and deployments for defining technology specification needs

• ITS Infrastructure deploy many devices, some never designed with security in mind

• Working with industry and legal environment to define framework

M-3 (Gratiot) has experienced an increased demand for transportation due to changes within the region. Gratiot’s new network should support multi-modal transportation; signal priority or preemption would benefit various user classes.

5 Largest challenges with Gratiot Avenue:

• Congestion

• Parking

• Pedestrian

• Movements

• Reliable transit

• Signal timing

MDOT is also pursuing traffic signal improvement in the Woodward Corridor using some recently approved grant money.

Update on Traffic Signal Pre-emption for Emergency Vehicles

Terry Martin from Carrier&Gable provided an update on technologies for traffic signal pre-emption to facilitate response time for emergency vehicles.  Signal priority can be provided for both emergency vehicles and transit vehicles.  When used for emergency vehicles, travel times can be improved by 25% and can reduce intersection crash rates by 70%.  When used for transit operations, it can reduce delays by 40%, cut fuel cost by 19%, and increase ridership by 10%.  When used for winter maintenance, it can reduce snowplow time by 22%.

The system can use an IR emitter to send and encoded priority request to the intersection.  This assumes line of sight availability.  When operating via GPS, a signal can be transmitted to multiple intersections along the path of the vehicle.

Fire Service Report

Canton Fire Chief Christopher Stoecklein reported that the SE Fire Chiefs Expo scheduled for Novi in April has been postponed until 2021.  Fire and emergency response have been slowed by COVID precautions.  Responders may have to do personal protective equipment if they face exposure to the virus.  There has been a decrease in run volumes between March and June of 2020.  He considers traffic signal pre-emption to be helpful in improving response times..

Statewide Traffic Incident Management

Dawn Miller reported on statewide traffic incident management activities. 

2020 Traffic Safety Summit March 10-11

Planning another TIM Sampler as a breakout session; and will find out soon if suggestion from TIM Action Team for TIM General Session was selected: “Victory Over Critical Injury – Sgt. Robert Bemis (retired Pennsylvania State Trooper) was struck in a secondary crash and permanently injured. He accounts his victory over critical Injury and uses his experience to educate on issues of highway safety and raise awareness of the hazards present to emergency responders working along the highways. (Update after meeting: Sgt. Bemis was selected as speaker for closing session of conference.)


Target for 2019-2022 TIM Action Plan is 50% (16278) of responders trained statewide by 12/31/2022.

Total Michigan responders trained as of June 2020 is 25%./

Since March of 2020, training has been virtual, broadcasting from Michigan State Police headquarters in Lansing.  Online training allows more responders to be reached but does not allow relationships to be developed among different responder disciplines.