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Policy Information

Highway Information Seminar

Preliminary Agenda / Breakout Session Descriptions

Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Welcome and Opening Session

A Mini-Course on Financing Federal-Aid Highways

Breakout Session 1

Motor Fuel Data Reporting & Attribution

This session will provide an overview of the mandated motor fuel reporting requirements, including timeliness and accuracy. This session will highlight the reason and importance of collecting the motor fuel data (both gallons and receipts), of the 551Ms (monthly gallons), and the 556 (yearly MF tax receipts) reports. The participants will get a chance to see how their data plays an important role in the attribution process of the Highway Trust Fund, and the Monthly Motor Fuel Report. Participants will be allowed questions, feedback.

HPMS and the States

This will be an opportunity for the States to share their experiences, challenges and concerns. Hear from your colleagues in other States and bring your questions so we make sure they are addressed during the seminar.

Traffic Data - An Overview

This session is to provide an overview on 1) how traffic data are utilized in various agency programs such as planning, NEPA, design, construction and operations, 2) relationships between data collected and needed, and 3) funding sources and mechanisms under SAFETEA-LU. Shall any new surface transportation legislation is enacted, new funding sources and mechanism will be presented and discussed per the latest legislation. The goal is to enhance traffic data collection professional’s ability to link data collection program to various key agency programs in order to articulate the criticalness of traffic data program.

Traffic Flow Data - Flow Map Data QA/QC

This is a live demonstration on how to use a free on line traffic data QA/QC tool to review HPMS traffic data and generate smoothed flow. The on-line tool provides QA/QC functionality, making it easier for traffic data submitters to identify missing or anomalous traffic data values and provide suggested values for the missing values. Users have the ability to review traffic data at a glance, modify flagged values, and output edited data as files compatible with HPMS. .At the end of the data QA/QC procedure, the software package can export a set of data with identical data format as the input. Professionals involved in either HPMS traffic data or any other traffic flow data should join the session. The goal of this session is to showcase how to take advantage of an easy to use and free system to enhance traffic data quality.

Breakout Session 2

Highway Finance (FHWA 500 Series Forms)

This is your chance to work hands-on with the FASH system under the guidance of an FHWA expert. FASH was developed by FHWA and is used to submit and validate data provided by State Department of Transportation’s and other agencies for use by FHWA, Congress and the public. FASH is a database management system that captures the overall financial status of a State’s highway program. It is beneficial for all State data providers to attend this workshop as you will learn step-by-step instructions for completing the FHWA 500 Series Forms (i.e., FHWA 531/532/541/542). There will be discussions on other financial areas such as the Local Finance, Toll Reports and the Highway Statistics. There will also be further discussions on the Highway Finance Re-Assessment discussed during the seminar.

HPMS Data Review Process

This session will describe how FHWA reviews the State submittals. We will cover the HQ reviews and re-reviews, the Division Office reviews, the memorandum and follow-up.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Data Collection and Recording

This session will detail efforts and research completed by FHWA to support the proper collection and quality control of pedestrian and bicycle data. Attendees will learn the newly proposed pedestrian and bicycle data formats and methods to initiate data collection. The goal of the session is to inform State and local traffic professionals on the latest information in regard to pedestrian and bike data collection.

Speed Data Collection and Format

This session will cover the newly established speed data format to be used by State and local agencies. Speed data is a vital output from traffic data collection sites. The newly established format provides considerable flexibility to capture speed data. Nationwide, FHWA anticipates over 2,500 traffic collection sites can provide speed data once data collection, quality control and reporting are fully implemented. Our goal in this session is to inform attendees of the new data format, QA/QC criteria, and answer any questions you may have.

Traffic Monitoring Guide - What's New

The updating of the current Traffic Monitoring Guide (TMG) is near completion. The updated TMG will continue to provide guidance to federal, state, and local practitioners responsible for collection, analysis, and/or reporting of traffic data. This briefing will provide a quick overview on the manual and what has changed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Breakout Session 3

HPMS Software Update

The newest features of HPMS 8.0 will be demonstrated, and some of the finer points highlighted. There will be an opportunity to focus on specific issues of the audience.

Traffic Monitoring - Volume and Classification

This session will cover both the fundamentals in traffic monitoring and details of several new advances and tools available to DOTs to improve classification data. On the fundamental front, traffic monitoring concepts will be presented. Volume monitoring will be discussed and illustrated. On the classification front, the session will showcase how States can view their own data and data from every other State. Class quality control methods which have been added to the Travel Monitoring Analysis System (TMAS 2.0) will be presented, too. Practical ways of how to insure collection of quality class data from both a field and office perspective will be provided. This session will detail classification processes and methods to help all DOT staff maintain a high quality classification data program. Classroom exercises will be conducted as part of the lecture.

Fuel Tax Evasion and Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Program

Fuel Tax Evasion - This session will present various schemes and methods used by fuel tax evaders. This will involve review of theoretical and anecdotal cases of evasion. As the different scenarios are reviewed, suggestions will be presented on what States and FHWA can do to monitor, and hopefully help eliminate the evasion. Additionally, a review of the fuel distribution system will be presented along with information on points of taxation at the State and Federal level and what differences there do to facilitate evasion schemes

Heavy Vehicle Fuel Tax - This session will review the FHWA’s responsibility in the HVUT process. Information will be presented on the original application process along with reviewing recent changes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made in the application process. Materials will be reviewed for the State’s responsibility in the maintenance of records, and the Division Offices’ duties, which include the periodic reviews of the State programs. This session will also include reviews of the available printed and electronic information on this program.

Breakout Session 4

HPMS and Traffic Monitoring - Joint Session with Traffic Monitoring

This year’s joint session between HPMS and Traffic Data is to be focused on ramp data collection, estimation, and reporting. The goal is to provide the latest information on how ramp data are to be reported to HPMS on an annual basis and at the same time discuss all potential means to get the data, quality check of the data, and reporting of the data. As usual, audience participation, sharing information and practices, questions and answers are highly encouraged to all session participants. The Session will be conducted as follows:

The Session will be conducted as follows:

  1. HPMS –ramp data requirements and representing ramps geo-spatially.
  2. Traffic – how to obtain ramp traffic data – various interchange configurations
  3. Discussion, sharing practices and information, questions and answers

Motor Vehicles and Drivers Licenses, and Local Finance and Tolls

This session is to cover all related forms, required data entries, and data QA/QC steps to facilitate data gathering, analysis and submittal of data to FHWA. The goal is to familiarize people who have the responsibility in these areas in States and FHWA Division Offices on the most efficient and effective way of data gathering and reporting

Breakout Session 5

HPMS Sample Data Collection

The HPMS 8.0 sampling tools and issues will be covered, such as section length, bias, crossing TOPS boundaries, and sample adequacy.

Traffic data - Ramp Data Collection

The Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) is now requiring traffic counts on ramps associated with grade-separated interchanges. FHWA has developed a set of methodologies to enable state and local agencies to obtain ramp traffic data to support HPMS needs without having to physically count all ramps. These methodologies assume accurate traffic data is available on the crossroad and/or the freeway. This class will teach the methodologies to accurately estimate ramp traffic volumes for the most common types of interchanges (diamond, trumpet/three-legged, and cloverleaf). The class will include example problems that validate the methodologies.

Debt Services - Bonds

This session will provide an overview of the FHWA 541- State Transportation Obligations Issued During the Year & Allotment of Proceeds, 542- Status of State Transportation Debt, and 543-State Transportation Sinking Fund & Debt Service Transaction forms, including accuracy and timeliness. The goal is to give the State Preparers a better understanding in completing these forms. This will be an opportunity for the States to share their experiences, challenges and concerns.

Thursday, October 25, 2012, 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Breakout Session 6

HPMS Functional Classification & Adjusted Urban Boundaries

Since the Census Bureau released their urban area boundaries, States have an opportunity to adjust them for transportation purposes. This and the functional classification guidance will be presented.

Weight-in-motion data collection and reporting

The session will introduce the FHWA’s Truck Weight Study (TWS) and Heavy Vehicle Travel Information System (HVTIS) program and will cover the following: review program requirements, Identify WIM data need and use, describe WIM program design, structure and application, Identify WIM sensor technology and related issues and identify WIM trends and reports. The workshop also had open discussions general to identify program barrier, issues and sharing of ideas to improve WIM program practices. The seminar targets Federal, State and local transportation administrators, program managers, pavement engineers, planners, data analysts and field service technical staff responsible for traffic monitoring programs. Upon completing the training, participants will have a better understanding of the TWS program requirements, WIM technology, application and how the WIM program is a key component supporting diverse programs data needs.

Travel Modeling and National Household Travel Survey (NHTS)

Travel Modeling: The Travel Modeling session is to showcase how various transportation related data including state submitted travel, fuel consumption, and vehicles registration data and the FHWA collected travel behavior data are integrated to produce the most sought after data on an annual basis. The goal of this session is to not only illustrate technically how States can conduct similar analysis but more importantly to showcase how regular data can be transformed into meaningful information and inspire more innovate analysis.

NHTS: The National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) documents over 40 years of travel behavior information for the U.S. This workshop will highlight procedures utilized in the on line Data Extraction Tool to answer why, how and when we travel information. Data structure and variable interrelationships will also be explained. Hands on exercises will be part of the session. The goal and objective of this session is to provide professionals dealing with transportation data the opportunity to explore the NHTS data and enhance the understanding of how all data and information are related to each other and support the transportation decision making processes.

500 Series Reporting - Review and Q/A (first of two identical sessions)

This session is to provide a comprehensive overview on all 500 series data. Relationships among various data items will be explored and explained. Discussion among all involved will be carried out. The goal is to provide the opportunity to all involved to discuss and address common issues and identity good practices.

Breakout Session 7

HPMS Looking Ahead and Wrap-up

Upcoming changes and issues will be discussed. There will be time for final questions and a wrap-up.

Traffic Data for Pavement Design

This session is to cover traffic data needs as related to pavement design under both the ESAL concept and the mechanistic- empirical design method. All input traffic parameters will be presented and discussed. The relationships between collected data and design traffic input data will also be covered. Hands on exercises will be an integral part of the lecture. The goal and objective of the session is to inform traffic data collection professionals on traffic data issue as related to pavement design traffic data needs and bridge the gap among data collectors, modelers and designers.

500 Series Reporting - Review and Q/A (second of two identical sessions)

This session is to provide a comprehensive overview on all 500 series data. Relationships among various data items will be explored and explained. Discussion among all involved will be carried out. The goal is to provide the opportunity to all involved to discuss and address common issues and identity good practices.

Plenary Session

Issues and Updates

Wrap-up/Close-out Roundtable

End of Seminar

Return to 2012 Highway Information Seminar

Updated: 05/22/2012

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration