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

ENTERPRISE Transportation Pooled Fund Study


Use of ITS Planning Guidelines

The ITS planning guidelines presented on this website are part of an ongoing research project assessing the potential for ITS planning guidance.

  How Can I Use the ITS Planning Guidelines?  

The intent of this project is to assess if ITS guidelines can assist agencies in the decision process of deploying an ITS device for a specific application. The intent is that guidelines could also be used to validate existing ITS device deployments.

The use of the guidelines is intended to be an initial step in the decision making process, analogous to more conventional cost-benefit analyses, and as such the guidelines would only be one of many tools used in the decision process for determining if a device is to be deployed. The driving force behind the development of the ITS guidelines is the fact that, often, a numerical cost-benefit analysis of ITS devices is difficult or even not possible. For example, while the costs of a CCTV camera can easily be estimated, the financial benefits of a CCTV camera are difficult to estimate. Therefore, the goal of the guidelines is to provide a preliminary analysis of whether a specific ITS device should be considered at a candidate location. If it is determined that a device should be considered, this represents a first step in the decision making process of whether to deploy or not. Local agencies or states are then encouraged to perform local engineering and planning analyses (as required) to determine whether the deployment is feasible at this location.

The guidelines are arranged by the functions or purposes for each ITS device, and were developed to be a series of simple yes or no questions that can be answered quickly, avoiding the complexity of collecting a lot of data before using the warrants. Please follow the following three steps when using the ITS guidelines:

Step 1: Purpose Selection

Identify and select the most appropriate purpose(s) (function) that the ITS device is being considered to perform at the candidate location. If the device will be used for multiple purposes, run the guideline analysis for each purpose.

Step 2: Consideration of Guideline

For each purpose, answer the series of questions asked by the guidelines. You will note that the guidelines are worded as “The device should be considered if…..” At the conclusion of Step 2, you will have either discovered that the use of the guideline has concluded either:

A) The device should be considered;

B) The device should partially considered (in which case if you are considering multiple purposes, you are informed that if one or more additional purposes are partially met, the device should be considered;) or

C) The device should not be considered at this location

Step 3: Next Steps

For each device that the guidelines process identifies that it should be considered, it is recommended that additional engineering and planning studies (as appropriate) be conducted for the device at the candidate location. These will include such considerations as whether there is power supply? Whether there is appropriate access for maintenance and operations? Whether it is safe to deploy this device at this location? Please note that the guidelines do not address these engineering and planning decisions, but rather simply look at whether the specific device should be considered at the location, given the need and conditions.

Final Thoughts on the Use of the Guidelines

Many of the ITS guidelines examine whether lower cost or less technology oriented solutions would be more appropriate. Whenever possible, notes are included in the guidelines. Therefore, while an ITS device might not be considered at a location, other options for meeting the same objectives might be more appropriate.

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