INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS (ITS)
Transportation Management through the application of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in Montgomery County, Maryland
Montgomery County, Maryland with a population of 800,000 and 3,000 miles of roads, has established a transportation management program that includes processes, functions and systems that provide real time control, monitoring and information capabilities.
The safe and efficient management of Montgomery County's transportation system requires the ability to identify, respond to, adjust for, and provide information on a variety of problems that impact the transportation system on a daily basis. These problems include:
Montgomery County has determined that through a continually improving and adaptable transportation management program the county can effectively eliminate, reduce, and respond to a variety of transportation related problems. Transportation management can be divided into three major functions:
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) :
In 1980, Montgomery County started the development of the county's transportation management program with the implementation of a real time traffic responsive computerized signal system. The computerized signal system, which started with 10 intersections associated with the construction of a major shopping mall, has been expanded to a system that now controls and monitors all the 700 plus county maintained signals. As the computerized signal system grew in size it became evident that the system provided the capability to manage traffic on a real time basis. Incidents and special events were managed more effectively and with less impact on resources through the capabilities of the signal system and coordination with police, fire, and other state and local transportation agencies.
The experience gained from the computerized signal system generated several enhancements through the 1980's that provided improved capabilities to Manage and coordinate activities and functions associated with the transportation system. In 1992 a contract was awarded to implement an enhancement to the computerized signal system that would form the base system for Montgomery County's Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS).
Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS) :
Montgomery County's Advanced Transportation Management System is composed of multiple subsystems that provide real time control, monitoring, and information capabilities. Montgomery County has encouraged and facilitated inter and intra-agency coordination as part of the county's transportation management program. To fund the development and implementation of the Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS) a capital improvement program (CIP) project was approved as part of the county's multi-year program.
The Advanced Transportation Management System provides the tools to support the county's ability to implement an effective transportation management program. The ATMS serves as the catalyst for improved coordination and cooperation between multiple agencies, the media, and the public on issues associated with managing the transportation system.
The ATMS features an open architecture that allows for new technologies to be readily added to the system. Some of the major components of the ATMS include :
Since 1980, Montgomery County has been constructing a several hundred mile communication system to support the communication requirements of the computerized signal system and now the ATMS. The original twisted pair copper based communication system is being enhanced with fiber optics. The fiber optic based system will use the Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) standard to support data, voice, and video requirements. The fiber optic system is being implemented with the capacity to connect all government, public schools, and college facilities in Montgomery County. Future connection of the county's FiberNet to private communication systems will provide the capability for citizens to remotely access Montgomery County Government and other public agencies.
The success of Montgomery County's transportation management program is dependent on the coordination and cooperation of multiple agencies. These agencies include police, fire and rescue, environmental, planning, and transportation at the federal, state, and local levels. Existing and future ATMS systems do and will improve the coordination between these agencies.
An excellent example of coordination related to transportation management in Montgomery County is the Transportation Operations and Incident Management Team, composed of representatives from Montgomery County police, fire and rescue, environmental protection, and transportation departments. The team meets on a monthly basis to develop and implement transportation management improvements. Members of the team jointly manage the response to major incidents that impact the transportation system.
Providing information to the users of the transportation system is a critical function of transportation management. Real time and accurate information distributed in a variety of formats by public agencies, the media and private information companies ill provide the information that will be used by those responsible for and those that use the system to make group and individual transportation related decisions. Montgomery County has and will develop information systems that use a variety of formats. Montgomery County believes that accurate and timely information on transit and traffic conditions and status may help to encourage increased use of transit and car pools. The ATMS will have multiple subsystems to gather and disseminate transportation information.
Transit / Traffic Integration:
Montgomery County has determined that to properly manage the transportation system the county must apply advanced technologies that integrate transit management and traffic management into a cohesive transportation management system. Montgomery County's ATMS provides integrated transit and traffic management. The county's Transportation Management Center has been enlarged to house traffic and transit personnel. Traffic and transit personnel will work side-by-side and share a central system to more effectively manage transportation. Advanced technologies monitor the location of the county's RIDE-ON bus fleet using the global positioning system (GPS) and automatically adjust traffic signals on a system wide basis to provide priority to buses that are behind schedule. Real time schedule status will be available to users of the transit system. Initial development of the system began in 1994 with full implementation of the 250 RIDE-ON buses by the end of 1998.
The ATMS is the key to Montgomery County's transportation incident management program. Through the system's control monitoring, and information capabilities, incidents are quickly detected, responded to, adjusted for, and cleared as safely and effectively as possible. The computerized signal system and the county's aerial surveillance program have proven to be critical tools in managing incidents. Anticipated improvements in detection technologies will further enhance the county's ability to identify incidents.
The ATMS's capabilities to manage incidents are readily adaptable to managing special events that impact the transportation system with either closures and or large volumes of traffic, both people and vehicles. The Transportation Operations and Incident Management Team is used to plan and manage special events and the related transportation needs.
Weather and Natural Disasters:
Weather and natural disasters impact transportation systems in the northeast on a frequent basis.The ATMS will feature systems that monitor weather, condition of roadway surfaces, adjust for delays and closures, and provide information on transportation conditions. County Cable 55 has proven to be valuable information tool to advise county citizens of the status of the transportation system through the use of "live" video from surveillance cameras. text and graphics. Other information such as school closures, impacts to government services, status of plowing, etc. is also broadcast into homes and businesses.
Public / Private Partnerships:
Montgomery County believes that various opportunities exist for partnerships to be formed by public agencies and private industry in the development, testing, and implementation of intelligent transportation system technologies. Cost and revenue sharing arrangements are practicable. Montgomery County offers experience, existing infrastructure, cost sharing, established test sites, a working transportation management system and excellent location near Washington, D.C..
Transportation management requires dedication, qualified personnel, public and political support, and properly applied advanced technologies. Montgomery County's experience indicates that good transportation management requires multiple capabilities that are combined and coordinated to form a systems approach to transportation problems. Montgomery County's Advanced Transportation Management System combines the latest in technology, a dedicated and experienced staff, coordination between multiple agencies, and public support to provide real time and effective transportation management.
Properly applied intelligent transportation system technologies can significantly enhance a jurisdiction's ability to provide a safe and efficient transportation system. Technology alone is doomed to failure if the technology is not supported by trained and dedicated personnel. Transportation management requires multiple systems and procedures that are integrated into a coordinated system. Montgomery County's experience is that there is no single or easy solution to transportation management.
An advanced transportation management system can be built overtime in phases. As each phase is added more capabilities are realized. At the heart of any transportation management system will be a computerized signal system and an extensive communication network. These two systems form the base of a transportation management system.
Montgomery County's transportation management system is designed to provide control, monitoring and information. Each of these three functions form a continuous loop. A failure of one of the functions will dramatically limit the ability to provide safe and efficient transportation management.
For further information on Montgomery County's Advanced Transportation Management System please contact:
Emil J. Wolanin,
For any MCDOT service request or complaint, call 311
When dialing outside of the county, call 240-777-0311 or submit via their website.
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Director's Office · Montgomery County Department of Transportation
101 Monroe Street, 10th Floor · Rockville, Maryland 20850 · firstname.lastname@example.org
· telephone: 240-777-7170 · fax: 240-777-7178 ·