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Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-13-0074
Project Name:   Saxton Transportation Operations Laboratory TO-13011: User Friendly Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Program Benefit-Cost Estimation Tool
Project Status:   Active
Start Date:  September 23, 2013
End Date:  September 22, 2015
Contact Information
Last Name:  Lochrane
First Name:  Taylor
Telephone:  202-493-3293
E-mail:  taylor.lochrane@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Operations Research and Development
Team:   Trans Ops Concepts and Analysis Team [HRDO-20]
Laboratory:   Saxton Transportation Operations Laboratory
Project detail
Project Description:   Traffic incidents contribute significantly to service level deterioration of both freeways and arterials. Traffic Incident Management (TIM) programs have been introduced worldwide with the aim of mitigating the impact of traffic incidents on safety and roadway performance. These programs support quick incident response, thereby shortening incident duration, and control traffic demand around the incident scene. Some TIM programs can be costly to tax payers, thus, it is important to be able to evaluate their benefits and determine the associated return on investment. Benefit-Cost (B/C) estimation studies have been conducted for numerous programs, the majority of which have related to Service Safety Patrols (SSP). These studies employ a wide range of estimation methodologies and monetary equivalent conversion factors. Consequently, resulting B/C ratio estimates vary widely and have been shown to be sensitive to these choices. Moreover, these studies can be quite costly. Thus, a standardized methodology that can be universally and equitably employed in such B/C ratio estimation is essential to creating consistency and, therefore, greater confidence in the validity of the results. With access to this methodology in the form of a simple-to-use, less data-intensive tool, TIM programs and tax payers alike can benefit from cost-effective evaluations.  A tool with such capability has been created, but with specialized applicability. Specifically, the SSP-BC Tool was developed to serve SSP program evaluation needs. We intend to enhance and roll-out the current SSP-BC tool and then modify this tool to create a standardized simple to use TIM program B/C cost estimation tool for a wider class of TIM programs/strategies. This project would identify and develop additional capabilities required to meet the needs of chosen TIM scenarios/program B/C ratio estimation. Methodologies and implementations embedded within the SSP-BC Tool will provide a foundation for the creation of a B/C ratio estimation capability. This effort will culminate in a robust software platform for a TIM B/C estimation tool, including open source code and needed documentation. Study areas for tool development and validation will be selected based on availability of quality data and consideration for needed geographic diversity.
(1) Develop Service Safety Patrol Benefit-Cost (SSP-B/C) tool.
(2) Develop Traffic Incident Management Benefit-Cost (TIM-B/C) tool.
Product Type:   Research report
Test Methodology:   Research
Partners:   Federal Highway Administration: Office of Operations - Office of Transportation Management; Role(s): Other stakeholder, Technical, Advisory
Expected Benefits:   Tool for States.
Deliverables: 1. Name: Service Safety Patrol Benefit-Cost (SSP-BC) Tool
Product Type(s): Research report, Software
Description: To enhance and roll out the Service Safety Patrol Benefit-Cost (SSP-BC) Tool based on the selected strategies.
2. Name: Create a Traffic Incident Management benefit-cost (TIM-BC) tool with additional traffic incident management (TIM) strategies.
Product Type(s): Research report, Software
Description: Traffic Incident Management (TIM)
FHWA Topics:   Research/Technologies--Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC)
TRT Terms:   Incident Management
Highway Traffic Control
Benefit Cost Analysis
FHWA Disciplines:   Operations
Subject Areas:   Operations and Traffic Management


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