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Planning Guidance for the Installation and Use of Technology Devices for Transportation Operations and Maintenance

ENTERPRISE Transportation Pooled Fund Study


Project Background

The structure of the project was proposed that ENTERPRISE representatives from each member state will work together as part of a facilitated process with the goal of reaching consensus on a small set of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) installation parameters, guiding the initial decisions of whether or not to deploy ITS solutions.


In recent years, state Department of Transportation's (DOTs) continue to mainstream the deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) into traditional infrastructure projects. As a result, ITS deployments are typically not selected as Field Operational Tests or demonstrations as they were in the 1990s, but rather as fundamental components of larger transportation improvement projects. Within this mainstreamed approach, ITS deployments are increasingly subjected to benefit/cost analyses, much in the way that pavement or structural projects are.

There has been a significant number of ITS benefit and cost analyses performed, and several tools exist to estimate the benefits and costs of ITS deployments. While these results are all useful, ENTERPRISE Pooled Fund Study member agencies expressed a need for an efficient and effective methodology to determine if ITS deployments are appropriate, and to support any internal justifications needed to decide whether ITS technologies should be deployed. Simply put, members have expressed a need to determine if the value that an ITS solution brings to a project warrants the costs of deployment and ongoing operation of the solution.

The manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) defines 8 warrants for traffic control signals. These warrants allow State DOTs to investigate the need for a traffic control signal by completing an engineering study of the traffic conditions, pedestrian characteristics, and physical characteristics. The results of the engineering study are then compared against the traffic signal warrants as an initial analysis to determine whether installation of a traffic control signal is justified. Meeting the requirements of a warrant do not mandate that a traffic control signal be installed, but rather indicates that other factors and circumstances should be considered further to determine if a traffic signal control should be deployed.

The concept for this project was to build upon the ‘model’ of the MUTCD warrants and to investigate and develop installation parameters to guide initial decisions for the deployment of ITS solutions. The project is not attempting to influence the MUTCD in any way. Rather, the installation parameters developed for this project will coordinate with the MUTCD as appropriate. The use of the ITS installation parameters are voluntary, and entirely intended to serve those transportation agencies that wish to use them in their ITS deployment decision making process.

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