Promote local use of archived data for performance monitoring as a means of improving the interpretation of system performance at the national level.
National experience using archived traffic detector data for monitoring highway performance.
- Capture local knowledge for interpreting system performance at a national level. State and local agencies are likely to be more familiar with highways in their jurisdiction and significant activities or events that affect system performance. State and local agencies may monitor performance using methods or techniques that conform with or differ from national congestion monitoring measures. Because of their experience with local issues, State and local agency staff may also be able to provide "reality checks" for data collected in national congestion monitoring. At best, this capture of local knowledge is currently an informal process that involves sporadic communication with State and local agencies. There appears to be a need to formalize a process that solicits the knowledge and experience (as well as "event" databases) of State and local agencies in national congestion monitoring.
- Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) researchers have been gathering this local knowledge for many years through several of their national congestion studies. In the media-friendly Urban Mobility Study, which reported congestion statistics for 75 cities using Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) data, TTI researchers contacted State DOTs and metropolitan planning organizations to better understand or interpret reported trends in road mileage and travel statistics. These contacts were essential for smoothing year-to-year fluctuations caused by reporting differences or inconsistencies.
- Promote the local use of archived data for performance monitoring because it will benefit national performance monitoring efforts. In the Mobility Monitoring Program, which reports congestion statistics for numerous cities using archived data, TTI researchers informally solicit feedback on city-specific reports that contain route-by-route congestion and reliability statistics. In most cases, State or local agencies have confirmed the overall trends reported. However, some State or local agencies occasionally dispute the credibility of the archived traffic data as compared to their local congestion studies or experience. Many times these agencies are not currently using archived data for local performance monitoring. If they were, the archived data could support their positions and help improve both data quality and data utility for national purposes.
When State and local agencies capture their local highway knowledge and report this information to federal agencies, federal agencies can better explain and interpret various transportation trends in system performance. State and local agencies that are not currently using archived data for local performance monitoring should be encouraged to do so in order to provide federal agencies with additional useful information.
Author: Shawn Turner, Rich Margiotta, and Tim Lomax
Published By: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
Source Date: 10/1/2004
EDL Number: 14059
Other Reference Number: FHWA-HOP-05-003URL: http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/lessons_learned/index.htm#toc
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CCTV, closed circuit television cameras, road monitoring, sensors, vehicle detector, traffic detection, traffic monitoring, congestion monitoring