Title

Weather Integration in Transportation Management Centers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2006

Subject Area

operations - traffic, planning - safety/accidents, planning - integration, planning - signage/information, land use - planning, economics - benefits, organisation - management

Keywords

Weather, Transportation planning, Transportation management centers, Traffic operations centers, Traffic operations, Traffic management centers, Traffic control centers, Technological innovations, State of the practice, Road safety, Management, Integrated systems, Integrated control systems, Information systems, Highway safety, Highway operations, Best practices, Benefits, Advanced technology

Abstract

Traffic management centers (TMCs) serve to integrate technologies, agencies, and information to improve the safety and efficiency of transportation and transit systems. The thesis of this paper is that the integration of weather systems and information into transportation operations, specifically in TMCs, will improve operational performance and offer travelers increased mobility and safety benefits. The findings that are presented are based on a study of integrated operations at 38 TMCs across the country and reflect a range of weather experience, size and type of transportation system, and integration concepts and strategies. The paper offers a conceptual framework for understanding weather integration in traffic operations. The framework identifies a set of determinants of integration that are linked to operational performance and illustrates five key dimensions of integration. Field research showed how TMCs differ on these dimensions and the integration strategies they employ to achieve their desired concept of integration. The state of the practice in weather integration is described, and future opportunities that build on today’s best practices in TMCs are identified. A number of benefits to be derived from enhanced weather integration in TMCs are presented. The paper concludes that to achieve effective and efficient weather integration in traffic operations, it will be necessary to change existing operational paradigms and modify present TMC cultures. Many concepts of integration are exemplified in the best practices in use today, and they form the foundation on which to build integrated transportation operations for tomorrow.