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Saxton Transportation Operations Laboratory TO-13011: User Friendly Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Program Benefit-Cost Estimation Tool

Project Information

Project ID: 
FHWA-PROJ-13-0074
Project Status: 
Active
Start Date: 
Monday, September 23, 2013
End Date: 
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
FHWA Program: 
Operations
FHWA Topics: 
Research/Technologies--Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC)
TRT Terms: 
Incident Management; Safety; Operations; Research; Highway Traffic Control; Benefit Cost Analysis
FHWA Discipline: 
Operations
TRB Subject Area: 
Operations and Traffic Management

Contact Information

First Name: 
Taylor
Last Name: 
Lochrane
Telephone: 
(202) 493-3293
Email Address: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

Traffic incidents contribute significantly to service level deterioration of both freeways and arterials. Traffic Incident Management (TIM) programs have been introduced worldwide with the aim of mitigating the impact of traffic incidents on safety and roadway performance. These programs support quick incident response, thereby shortening incident duration, and control traffic demand around the incident scene. Some TIM programs can be costly to tax payers, thus, it is important to be able to evaluate their benefits and determine the associated return on investment. Benefit-Cost (B/C) estimation studies have been conducted for numerous programs, the majority of which have related to Service Safety Patrols (SSP). These studies employ a wide range of estimation methodologies and monetary equivalent conversion factors. Consequently, resulting B/C ratio estimates vary widely and have been shown to be sensitive to these choices. Moreover, these studies can be quite costly. Thus, a standardized methodology that can be universally and equitably employed in such B/C ratio estimation is essential to creating consistency and, therefore, greater confidence in the validity of the results. With access to this methodology in the form of a simple-to-use, less data-intensive tool, TIM programs and tax payers alike can benefit from cost-effective evaluations.  A tool with such capability has been created, but with specialized applicability. Specifically, the SSP-BC Tool was developed to serve SSP program evaluation needs. We intend to enhance and roll-out the current SSP-BC tool and then modify this tool to create a standardized simple to use TIM program B/C cost estimation tool for a wider class of TIM programs/strategies. This project would identify and develop additional capabilities required to meet the needs of chosen TIM scenarios/program B/C ratio estimation. Methodologies and implementations embedded within the SSP-BC Tool will provide a foundation for the creation of a B/C ratio estimation capability. This effort will culminate in a robust software platform for a TIM B/C estimation tool, including open source code and needed documentation. Study areas for tool development and validation will be selected based on availability of quality data and consideration for needed geographic diversity.

Goals:

Develop Service Safety Patrol Benefit-Cost (SSP-B/C) tool.

Develop Traffic Incident Management Benefit-Cost (TIM-B/C) tool.

Deliverables

Deliverable Name: 
Service Safety Patrol Benefit-Cost (SSP-BC) Tool
Deliverable Type: 
Research report or guidelines
Deliverable Description: 
To enhance and roll out the Service Safety Patrol Benefit-Cost (SSP-BC) Tool based on the selected strategies.
Deliverable Name: 
Create a Traffic Incident Management benefit-cost (TIM-BC) tool with additional traffic incident management (TIM) strategies.
Deliverable Type: 
Research report or guidelines
Deliverable Description: 
Traffic Incident Management (TIM)