Newsletter Banner
Tampa Bay 511 Traveler Information
Service Now Available

Transportation – "Saves" Lives, Time, Money & Jobs – Fund It!
Battling Hurricanes in the Florida Keys
With ITS
Editorial Corner – Bringing Together Visitors and ITS . . . Assume Nothing
FHWA Florida Division Oversight of
Federal-aid Projects


FDOT Equipment Certification
I-95 Corridor Coalition Leadership
Workshop
Announcements

ITS World Congress Ancillary Event –
Electronic Payment Systems

FDOT ITS Contacts


The SunGuide Disseminator
is a publication of:

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
Traffic Engineering and Operations Office
605 Suwannee Street, M.S. 90
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0450
(850) 410-5600
www.dot.state.fl.us.com


October 2004 Edition

 

 

Link to the FDOT ITS GC Web Site

 

Tampa Bay 511 Traveler Information Service Now Available

511 LogoOn September 2, 2004, FDOT’s District 7 launched the Tampa Bay 511 Traveler Information Service. This service, available to motorists in seven counties (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Manatee, Sarasota, and Hernando), provides detailed up-to-the-minute information on traffic conditions on the interstate and major roads throughout the Tampa Bay area.

With this launch, Tampa Bay joins 21 other cities and metropolitan areas nationwide using 511 services. The Tampa Bay 511 Traveler Information Service is the third 511 service offered in Florida. The first Florida service was the Central Florida Traveler Information 511 Service (launched June 24, 2002), which currently focuses on delivering traveler information for I-4 between Daytona (Volusia County) and the Central Florida tourist attractions. This was followed by the Southeast Florida SunGuideSM 511 Service (launched July 16, 2002), which currently provides traveler information for Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward counties as well as the Florida Keys portion of Monroe County.

511 SignThe Tampa Bay 511 Traveler Information Service is a 24-hours a day, 7-days a week service, available through cellular and land-line phones at no cost to land-line users. Cellular phone users must pay their regular airtime and/or roaming charges dependent upon their service contracts. Until AT&T Wireless offers the 3-digit 511 dialing, its customers will have to dial 1-800-576-3886 to get traffic information.

Motorists can obtain information by dialing 511 and following voice-activated prompts. The system responds to voice commands providing information on congestion, blocked lanes, or crashes on specified routes. Callers are encouraged to seek information before they are on the road. They also have the option of logging on to the service's Web site at www.511tampabay.com. This Web site provides an interactive map of the Tampa Bay area with red and white triangles highlighting traffic problems. Clicking on the triangles provides details of these traffic problems. Drivers can even arrange to get email updates for roads they frequently travel.

The Tampa Bay 511 Traveler Information Service is operated by Traffic Pulse, a division of Mobility Technologies. Traffic Pulse gathers traffic and road information from road sensors, cameras, FDOT Road Rangers, the Florida Highway Patrol, and police scanners.

The FDOT and the Federal Highway Administration plan to invest more than $5 million to operate and maintain the service over the next 5 years.

This article was provided by Bill Wilshire, FDOT District 7. For more information, please contact Mr. Wilshire at (813) 975-6612 or email Bill.Wilshire@dot.state.fl.us.

 

* * * *

Return to top

 

Battling Hurricanes in the Florida Keys With ITS

To date, the Florida Keys have been threatened by three major hurricanes (and counting) during the summer of 2004. Emergency evacuations are being managed based on available information which is shared among the relevant agencies. Meanwhile, FDOT District 6 is deploying ITS along the 130 mile stretch of US 1, from Key West to Key Largo and up to Florida City in southern Miami-Dade County, to facilitate hurricane evacuation, incident response, and maintenance of traffic as well as traffic management during peak holidays and special events. ITS can help address these issues in several ways:

  • Hurricane Evacuation –The deployment of ITS will be beneficial, not only to the management of traffic, but also to emergency managers who will be able to assess conditions through the use of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and to communicate with those evacuating via dynamic message signs (DMSs).
  • Incident Response –In the past, serious accidents along the two-lane sections of US 1 have involved multiple fatalities, requiring long periods of time to clear incidents from the roadway. ITS will allow for early identification of response needs; inform motorists of conditions, reducing frustration; allow for diversion of traffic around the incident; and allow for demand reduction during the incident period.
  • Major Bridge Maintenance –Many of the moveable and segmental bridges in the Florida Keys require periodic maintenance efforts that restrict traffic flow along US 1. Many of these maintenance operations require 1-lane, 2-way operations for extended periods of time. ITS will assist in traffic control during these maintenance operations.
  • Holiday Travel Demand – The most significant traffic demand within the Florida Keys occurs during holiday periods, including Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, and New Year's Eve and Day. Additionally, there are other times of significant entry into the Keys, such as the open lobster season. During these periods, the moveable bridges compete with US 1 for capacity of “water” traffic versus “roadway”traffic. ITS will be beneficial in controlling traffic and managing demand for the Keys.

The Florida Keys ITS Program was implemented using design/build deployment. The deployment was divided into two projects: the Lower Keys (Key West - Mile Marker [MM] 5 to Key Largo - MM 106) and Upper Keys (Key Largo -MM 106 to Florida City - MM 127). The Lower Keys project was combined with ITS deployment along I-75 and I-195 within Miami-Dade County, while the Upper Keys project was combined with ITS deployment along SR 826 within Miami-Dade County. The Florida Keys ITS projects include the following components:

  • DMSs –DMSs provide information during emergency evacuations; informs motorists of maintenance problems with moveable bridges or closures on long span bridges (e.g., Seven-Mile Bridge Run); and provide motorists with general traffic information, incidents, and Amber Alerts. Static CCTV cameras are being located near DMSs in order to verify messages posted on the signs. A “butterfly”DMS structure is being used, where possible, to provide messages to both the north- and southbound directions. A bronze marlin is being mounted on the sign structure in Florida City to enhance aesthetics.
  • CCTV Cameras – CCTV cameras enable operators at the transportation management center (TMC) to monitor traffic conditions, dispatch appropriate services (e.g., Road Rangers), and verify messages on the DMSs. CCTV cameras are being strategically located at the “bends”along US 1 to optimize coverage without needing to space them in typical one-mile intervals. While the desirable CCTV mounting height is 40 feet, the actual mounting heights vary, up to a maximum of 85 feet, in order to accommodate line-of-sight requirements for wireless communications. Five CCTV cameras are being located along Card Sound Road which serves as a diversion route out of the Florida Keys during hurricane events.
  • Communications – Wireless communications are being used in combination with Metro Ethernet®-leased lines to link the ITS field devices with the TMC. The FDOT is using the unlicensed 5.8 gigahertz band to communicate with all ITS field devices.

A summary of the Florida Keys ITS Program, indicating the number of devices by project; the start and completion dates; and costs, is presented in the following table:

Florida Keys ITS Program

ITS Deployment

Lower Keys

Upper Keys

Total

DMSs

14

4

18

CCTV Cameras

48

8

56

Vehicle Detectors

0

2

2

Communications

Wireless

Wireless

Wireless

Notice to Proceed

August 2004

June 2003

June 2003

Project Completion

April 2006

March 2005

April 2006

Design/Build Cost

$7.5 million

$2.0 million

$9.5 million

The Upper Keys project has provided several lessons learned in working within this unique, environmentally sensitive area:

  • Power –Early and continuous coordination with power service providers is necessary in order to obtain approval for use of existing overhead lines needed to power the ITS field devices. This is a typical issue in deploying ITS in remote areas.
  • Maintenance of Traffic – As the US 1 corridor right-of-way is constrained, it is advantageous to “piggy-back,”where applicable, on other roadway and bridge construction- and maintenance-related projects so that closures and detours have less of an overall impact on traffic flow.
  • Public Meetings –Public outreach efforts were successful in describing the Florida Keys ITS Program to local agencies and residents. In fact, many citizens preferred ITS as an alternative to roadway improvement projects.

The FDOT District 6 Maintenance Emergency Operations Center welcomes the Florida Keys ITS Program to facilitate their role in communicating with motorists, emergency services, and local agencies. They will use the CCTV cameras to monitor traffic queues; to determine where Road Rangers should be roving; and to determine timeframes experiencing heavy delays. They will use the DMSs to advise motorists of traffic conditions; to notify them of suspension of tolls along Florida’s Turnpike; to provide advisories of evacuation (including shelter information); and to provide the status of bridge “lockdowns.”

In summary, the Florida Keys ITS Program provides a unique complement to the “urban”ITS within Miami-Dade County. As all ITS field devices for both counties will be monitored and controlled at the FDOT District 6 TMC, the region will be better prepared for future hurricanes in saving lives, time, and money.

This article was provided by Omar Meitin, FDOT District 6. For more information, please contact Mr. Meitin at (305) 499-2493 or email Omar.Meitin@dot.state.fl.us.

 

* * * *

Return to top

 

FHWA Florida Division Oversight of Federal-aid Projects

FHWA-Florida Division Logo Recently there have been questions from the FDOT District Offices regarding the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Florida Division oversight of ITS projects. The main question concerns the type of ITS projects that are considered to have FHWA Project Level Oversight (non-exempt) or FHWA Program Level Oversight (exempt), and what this means. I am taking this opportunity to clarify the Federal-aid oversight process. The difference between the Project Level Oversight and the Program Level Oversight is that the Project Level Oversight is managed by the FHWA Florida Division’s Transportation Engineers, while the Program Level Oversight is managed by FDOT and FHWA through a previously agreed to process. This article concentrates on the Project Level Oversight.

Based on the current Exemption Agreement and 23 USC 106 Exception Process, Topic No. 625-010-000-f, the following oversight process has been established.

Project Level Oversight
All ITS projects greater than $1 million on the interstate or directly serving the interstate using any Federal-aid and all Federal Earmarks projects using Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) Section 5206 dollars shall have Project Level Oversight. Provided below are FHWA submittal requirements for Federal-aid contracts and design/build contracts for Project Level Oversight projects:

Project Development and Environment – NEPA –Environmental Requirements – For the most part, all ITS projects within existing right-of-ways are considered to be a Categorical Exclusion per 23 CFR Section 771.117. ITS projects should be coordinated with the FHWA and the FDOT District Environmental Management Office to ensure that there are no culturally sensitive artifacts in the existing right-of-ways..

ITS Project Implementation –All projects identified as ITS projects must be developed in accordance with regulations as described in 23 CFR Section 940. The project sponsor/engineer must document the compliance as it relates to 23 CFR Section 940.11 as listed below:
  a. All ITS projects funded with Highway Trust Funds shall be based on a systems engineering analysis. The project manager should review the FDOT's Systems Engineering Management Plan.
  b. The systems engineering analysis should be on a scale commensurate with the project scope.
  c. The systems engineering analysis shall include, at a minimum:
    Identification of portions of the regional ITS architecture (RITSA) being implemented (or if a RITSA does not exist, the applicable portions of the National ITS Architecture);
    Identification of participating agencies' roles and responsibilities;
    Requirements definitions;
    Analysis of alternative system configurations and technology options to meet requirements;
    Procurement options;
    Identification of applicable ITS standards and testing procedures; and
    Procedures and resources necessary for operations and management of the system.
  d. Upon completion of the RITSA requirement in 23 CFR Sections 940.9(b) or 940.9(c), the final design of all ITS projects funded with Highway Trust Funds shall accommodate the interface requirements and information exchanges as specified in the RITSA. If the final design of the ITS project is inconsistent with the RITSA, then the RITSA shall be updated as provided in the process defined in 23 CFR Section 940.9(f) to reflect the changes.
  e. All ITS projects funded with Highway Trust Funds shall use applicable ITS standards and interoperability tests that have industry recognition.
Design/Bid/Build, System Manager, or other Standard ITS Procurements –
Following are the processes used for Design-Bid-Build, System Manager, or other Standard ITS Procurements:
  Review and approve Design Scope and supplements;
  Review and approve method of compensation for the consultant design firm (engineering services) and any supplements;
  Review and approve plan phase submittals (30, 60, and 90 percent);
  Review and approve utility agreements;
  Review and approve Plan, Specifications & Estimate package (100 percent plans and specifications, estimates, and special provisions) and testing and acceptance plans; and
  Approval of any proprietary items required for the project (i.e. sole source justifications, if needed).
  Once these items have been reviewed and approved, the FHWA will authorize the project funds for construction/implementation. This occurs after the FDOT Federal-aid Management Office submits an electronic request in the Financial Management Information System (FMIS). After bids are received FHWA’s oversight includes:
  Review and approve Concurrence in Award to bidder;
  Review and approve scope and method of compensation of consultant construction inspection services and any supplements;
 

Review and approve design changes, specification and special provision changes, construction supplemental agreements, work orders and change orders, time extensions, and claims;

  Conduct periodic field construction reviews; and
  Once the project burn-in process has been completed and accepted by FDOT/FHWA, then final acceptance is processed by FHWA.
Federal-aid Design/Build Oversight –
Following are the processes used for Design/Build Oversight:
  Review and approve the Request For Proposal (RFP) scope;
  Review and approve the project systems engineering approach.
  Review and approve RFP with project requirements document and construction criteria;

Review and approve scope and method of compensation of consultant construction inspection services and any supplements;
  Review and approve utility agreements;
  Review design phase submittals, ITS device specifications, and special provisions;
  Approval of any proprietary items required for the project (i.e., sole source justifications if needed);
  Review and approve design changes, construction supplemental agreements, work orders and change orders, time extensions, and claims;
  Conduct periodic field construction reviews; and
  Final acceptance is processed by FHWA after the burn-in process has been completed and accepted by FDOT/FHWA.

The following table illustrates the Federal-aid oversight process:

 
Interstate System
(Any Funding Source Other Than
Interstate Completion
NHS Off nterstate
System (Any Funding
Source)
Non-NHS (Any
Funding Source)
Local Agency Project Administered By Approved Local Agency
PROJECT TYPE
New/Reconstruction Cost
3R
     
>$1M
<$1M
LEVEL OF OVERSIGHT
FHWA Project Level
FHWA Program Level
(FDOT Project Review with FHWA Verification
FHWA & FDOT Program Level
Step-by-Step Review/
Approval
Exempt Under 106(c)(4)
Exempt Under 106(c)(1)
Exempt Under 106(c)(2)
Local Agency Project Review With FHWA & FDOT Verification
DESIGN STANDARDS
FHWA Approved
AASHTO Standards
State
Standards
State or Local (Based on the Roadway Classification
System)
FHWA OBLIGATION OF FUNDS
Project by Project
FDOT/FHWA RESPONSIBILITIES
No Change in Present Procedures
No Routine FHWA Involvement in Design, Concurrence in Award, Change Orders, Supplemental Agreements, Time Extensions, Claims, or Final Inspections/Acceptance

Discussed above are the FHWA submittal requirements for Federal-aid and design/build contracts for Project Level Oversight projects. Remember that Program Level Oversight and Local Agency Program projects still follow the same regulations and the FDOT certifies to the FHWA that all projects were carried out in accordance with the same laws and regulations. Any deviation could jeopardize Federal-aid participation.

This article was provided by Chung Tran, FHWA. For information, please contact Mr. Tran at (850) 942-9650 ext. 3041 or email to Chung.Tran@fhwa.dot.gov.

 

* * * *

Return to top

 

I-95 Corridor Coalition Leadership Workshop

I-95 LogoThe I-95 Corridor Coalition (Coalition) held a Leadership Workshop on September 9-10 in Alexandria, Virginia, at the Old Town Holiday Inn in the Historic District. Within a few blocks of the hotel, one could see the church where George Washington’s funeral services were held, and eat in restaurants and drink in taverns that served the public at the time this country was being formed. The fact that the men and women who lived and worked in Alexandria were instrumental in helping to chart this country’s future course made Alexandria anAlexandria Photo appropriate setting for this Leadership Workshop. The discussions emanating from this workshop will help set the future course of the Coalition.

The workshop kicked off with the Executive Board Chair, Neil Pedersen, welcoming everyone to the Leadership Workshop and to Virginia. The goal of the workshop was to review Member Services and Outreach, and to discuss multi-state issues to assist in the formulation of the Coalition’s future course.

One of the more important functions of the Coalition is Member Services and Outreach. The goal of the Member Services and Outreach Program is to bring people to the Coalition table, keep them there, and make the experience worthwhile for them as well as for the Coalition. The Member Services and Outreach Program is key to the success of the Coalition and can be considered as the engine that provides the power to the Coalition.

Mark Norman, Transportation Research Board (TRB), set the tone in the morning by speaking about the importance of volunteers to organizations such as the Coalition. People have less time than ever before to donate to volunteer activities, and barriers to participation must be identified and removed to encourage people to volunteer. Potentially, one of the biggest reasons volunteers don’t get involved is that no one bothered to ask them. Additionally, it is important to maximize the volunteer’s time by reducing the amount of “administrivia” that volunteers have to cope with. Having strong effective committee chairs, and involving everyone in identifying issues and setting priorities, is essential to a successful project. Always give credit and not blame. As Mark Norman stressed –Communicate, Communicate, COMMUNICATE.

The afternoon was devoted to strategic planning issues. Prior to the workshop, a survey was taken among the Executive Board members. The survey provided feedback on the multi-state issues that the member agencies felt were important as well as what issues should be addressed by the Coalition.

As a result of the survey, the Executive Board members provided a list of multi-state issues that can be boiled down to the following general issues:

  • Facilitating regional inter-modal freight movement;
  • Linking information on a regional/corridor basis;
  • Improving transportation security; and
  • Providing consistency across state lines.

The Executive Board also felt that incident response and information sharing was important to address on a regional basis, as well as the provision of traveler information/511 and evacuation planning. The Executive Board also pointed out that move-it laws, sign messages, and electronic payment systems should be consistent from state to state along the I-95 corridor.

When asked what the Coalition should be doing to address multi-state issues, the Executive Board responded with of the following suggestions:

  • Conducting freight flow analyses;
  • Conducting corridor-wide bottleneck analyses;
  • Addressing regional transportation policy issues;
  • Sponsoring best practice information exchanges;
  • Coordinating with responsible organizations to improve transportation system security;
  • Examining hazmat transportation issues; and
  • Supporting the creation of an interstate travel information network.

Discussions regarding strategic planning were initiated by a panel representing Coalition partners. The panel, consisting of Tony Kane from AASHTO, Steve Kuciemba with ITS America, Mark Norman from TRB, Jeff Paniati from FHWA, and Jeff Squires with the Senate Environmental Protection Administration, discussed the answers to three questions that were provided in advance. The following three questions were posed by the Coalition:

  • What are your reactions to what you’ve heard and to the Coalition members’feedback (survey)?
  • What are you (the panelists) hearing from your members on key multi-state issues? and
  • How can we coordinate and complement (leverage) efforts with organizations/partners?

The panelists were united in their reaction to identifying the key multi-state issues. Based on what the panelists got from the Coalition members’ survey, and from what they heard from their members, the major issues deal with freight movement, incident management, traveler information, safety, security, standards, toll collection, roadway weather systems, and funding. The panel also pointed out that institutional constraints tend to make it more difficult to address the multi-state issues. The panel suggested that all transportation agencies need to have a stronger management and operations mindset; core staff competencies need to be improved; and agency Chief Executive Officers need to be more aware of problems along the I-95 corridor and what the Coalition can do to support their agency’s goals.

The panel felt that the best way to leverage the efforts of the Coalition members was to promote pooled-fund initiatives; conduct peer-to-peer and domestic scans; develop common performance measures; conduct Web casts; and promote information sharing through training, conferences, and workshops, and through contact and interaction with private sector partners.

To complement the panel’s discussion, Emil Frankel, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, discussed transportation activities on the horizon and how the Coalition could best advance the USDOT’s multi-state issues. Mr. Frankel noted that the current transportation bill expires at the end of September, and there is no information on the length and contents of a possible extension. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives both have proposed bills, but they are worlds apart. The USDOT prefers the U.S. Senate bill as it affords more flexibility.

In discussing how the Coalition can best advance the USDOT’s key multi-state issues, Mr. Frankel suggested that the Coalition and its members provide the U.S. Congress with information on transportation policy and what the federal government’s role should be. The Coalition should place an emphasis on systems operations, passenger rail, congestion mitigation, and freight and goods movement.

Facilitated discussions followed presentations regarding Member Services and Outreach and Multi-State Issues. A general theme coming from the facilitated discussion regarding Member Services and Outreach was that in order for the Coalition to be effective, members must have a sense of value and a feeling of how the Coalition benefits them. Creativity of members must be promoted, basic services of the Program tracks must be consistent, and Program tracks must communicate and coordinate among themselves.

The Multi-State Issues facilitated discussion participants brought up the following:

  • Safety is a strategic issue that needs to be addressed by all program tracks and projects;
  • Pperformance measures would help generate data for incident management; and
  • Traffic management centers currently lack a set of universal standards for operations and policy.

The participants also felt that a complete bottleneck analysis would be beneficial and institutional issues surrounding electronic payment services should be addressed. Additionally, the Coalition should continue to partner with other organizations and bringing the private sector to the table will be challenging in that the private sector must benefit directly from participation.

The second day of the workshop was devoted to reviewing the prior day’s discussions and going over the agenda for the 1st Annual I-95 Corridor Coalition Meeting. In the wrap-up, it was suggested that the Coalition needs to emphasize addressing regional and policy issues as well as conducting information exchange forums. A list of potential projects, initiatives, and information exchange forum topics were developed during the wrap-up.

The list of suggested regional issues included:

  • Corridor bottlenecks;
  • Performance measures;
  • Incident management;
  • Travel information;
  • Intermodal freight; and
  • Rail operations.

On the policy side, the suggested issues included:

  • Enforcement/behavior change,
  • Civil liberty versus safety;
  • Truck issues;
  • Procurement;
  • Environment and energy; and
  • Aging population.

A number of information exchange forums were proposed to address performance measures, evacuation and emergency planning, 511, cargo tracking, wireless communications, security, work zone safety, and roadway weather information systems.

The last effort of the workshop was a discussion of the 1st Annual I-95 Corridor Coalition Meeting to be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, on December 13-14. North Carolina will be discussing their transportation initiatives and Lyndo Tippett, the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, will provide the welcome at the Kickoff Luncheon. This annual meeting will feature concurrent information forums that will cover a range of topics, including evacuation/emergency preparedness, safety, and security.

This article was provided by Gene Glotzbach, FDOT Traffic Engineering and Operations Office, ITS Section. For more information, please contact Mr. Glotzbach at (850) 410-5616 or email Gene.Glotzbach@dot.state.fl.us.

 

* * * *

Return to top

 

ITS World Congress Ancillary Event – Electronic Payment Systems

World Congress LogoDon’t Miss This Free Opportunity to Learn and Network!
On Wednesday, October 20, attendees to the 11th World Congress on ITS will have the opportunity to take part in a special event addressing “Electronic Payment Systems (EPS) –Lessons and Experiences from Around the World.”

Sponsored by the ITS America Special Interest Group on International Research and Learning (SIGIRL), this EPS event is designed to provide an insight into practical lessons and experiences gained by EPS practitioners throughout the world. The session starts with a concise overview of the world of EPS and features presentations by prominent practitioners from around the world. Focusing on lessons learned and practical experiences, the presenters will provide their perspectives on various elements of EPS as well as any unresolved issues. The subject will be further illuminated by a specially arranged technical tour of Multipurpose Dedicated Short Range Communications Experimental Sites in Nagoya on Thursday, October 21.

For more information and to register, click HERE, visit www.learnpayment.com, or contact Lindsay Hagen at (407) 806-4320 or email lindsayhagen@pbsj.com.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn and network at this must-attend event in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, on Wednesday, October 20, 2004!

Note: This is a special event which is coordinated with the 11th World Congress on ITS; however, it does not require conference registration to attend and is free.

 

* * * *

Return to top

 

ITS Florida Banner

FBT LogoTransportation – "Saves" Lives, Time, Money & Jobs – Fund It!

Facts and Solutions for Florida's Future
Florida’s transportation system is the backbone of our state’s economy and is essential to our safety, quality of life, and economic vitality. The Florida Chamber Foundation, in its “Transportation Cornerstone” and “New Cornerstone” reports, has consistently stated that good transportation is the key to Florida’s economic future.

Transportation spending has been a legitimate function of our government since the days when President Thomas Jefferson commissioned a team to select the route of the first National Highway. Clearly, TRANSPORTATION – not General Electric – “brings good things to life.” Everything we eat, drink, wear, drive, or buy was somehow provided through transportation. But if we expect these benefits to continue, we’ve got to increase transportation funding at the local, state, and federal levels of government.

Key Facts
Funding Needs
Transportation in Florida is facing a huge funding crisis. On March 4, 2003, FDOT made public a draft report, Estimates of Florida's Transportation Needs - 2003-2020, showing that:

  • An additional $2.7 billion (or $160 per capita) was needed each year just to maintain current transportation conditions; and
  • An additional $4.9 billion ($295 per capita) was needed each year to improve transportation conditions in Florida.

Safety
A July 2003 report from The Road Information Program (TRIP) based in Washington, D.C., shows that Florida leads the nation in deaths for older drivers. In 2001, some 268 Florida drivers over the age of 70 were killed in traffic accidents in the Sunshine State.

In a state like Florida, where 18 percent of our population is over the age of 65, increasing safety for older drivers, younger drivers –and for every driver –must be a top priority.

Population Growth
Over 17 million people currently call Florida home. According to the Florida Transportation Indicators Web site (www.indicators.cutr.usf.edu/), Florida's estimated population increases by one every 1.61 minutes – 897 times per day – 327,367 times per year (based on the population change from 2002 through 2003).

Congestion
In a recent survey, getting caught in traffic was the #1 most hated item…ranking higher than visiting the dentist or going shopping on the busiest day of the year! According to the annual Urban Mobility Report (September 30, 2003), published by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) at Texas A&M University:

  • Traffic congestion levels in 75 urban areas have increased costing these communities $69.5 billion each year in lost productivity and wasted fuel.
  • Florida had the most congested cities (8) in the top 58 urban areas.
  • Orlando drivers waste more time in traffic than do New York City drivers!
  • The eight Florida areas with the worst traffic congestion are:
    • Miami-Hialeah;
    • Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood-Pompano Beach;
    • Orlando;
    • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater;
    • West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach;
    • Fort Myers-Cape Coral;
    • Jacksonville; and
    • Pensacola.

Economic Benefits
According to USDOT Secretary Norman Mineta, Florida's transportation industry employs 202,000 workers and accounts for an annual payroll of $6 billion. Nationwide, transportation contributes more than $1 trillion to the economy, 10 percent of the gross domestic product (Associated Press - Jan. 22, 2004).

A February 2003 study by the FDOT, Macroeconomic Impacts of the Florida Department of Transportation Work Program, stated that:

  • “Investments made by the FDOT through the adopted Work Program will have a significant impact on Florida’s economy.
  • Business benefits over the next 25 years will result in an increase of $44 billion in personal income for Florida residents and generate 88,000 new permanent jobs.
  • Direct benefits for personal travel, including reduced travel time, vehicle operating costs, and accidents, are estimated to be $74 billion.
  • Together, these benefits yield $5.50 for each dollar invested.”

Jobs Creation
47,500 new jobs are created by every $1 billion spent on transportation. In a May 2003 issue of U.S. News & World Report© magazine, Lou Dobbs – the host of “Moneyline” on CNN –stated the following:

“If we’re trying to create jobs, let’s create jobs. Our roads, highways, and bridges are in sore need of repair. Investing in our infrastructure would definitely create jobs and would immediately stimulate the economy, and the investment would be lasting.”

FBT LogoSolutions
At both the state and federal levels of government, there needs to be a recognition that not all “taxes” – and the services they fund – are the same. Transportation “user fees” provide a time-honored and fiscally responsible way of funding a legitimate function of limited government. Clearly, transportation has long been a part of America’s ongoing effort to “provide for the common defense” and “promote the general welfare”mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.

In many ways, the history of America is the story of transportation developments. From sailing ships along the Eastern seaboard to barges on the Erie Canal, from the Pony Express to paddlewheelers on the Mississippi River and the “Iron Horse” crossing the Great Plains, transportation has always symbolized progress and prosperity for America. In modern times, the development of the automobile, the Interstate Highway System, and air travel have revolutionized America over the span of just one lifetime. The freedom, affluence, and mobility afforded by our modern transportation system are truly symbolic of the “American way of life.”But nothing in life is free and so we must resolve to find the transportation means to maintain our amazing quality of life. And that will require additional resources for transportation, and a smarter approach to dealing with transportation.

A new transportation “recipe”for meeting the needs of the 21st Century is needed. This new comprehensive transportation approach should involve at least the following:

  1. Capacity improvements (through new roads, new transit systems, and expansion of the transportation systems we already have);
  2. Efficiency enhancements (through a greater use of technology – such as ITS –to make our existing systems work better); and
  3. Demand management efforts (through telecommuting, variable toll pricing strategies, carpooling, and more).

Below are specific recommendations for increased transportation funding at both the state and federal levels.

  • At the state level, a menu of transportation funding options should be considered during the 2005 Legislative Session. These might range from local options for enhanced transportation funding to statewide solutions like a much overdue increase in certain state transportation user fees.
  • At the federal level, Congress should enact a well-funded, long-term reauthorization bill that ensures each state receives back no less than 95 percent of their federal gas tax dollars. If this can be accomplished this year –GREAT. If not, the reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century should be postponed until after the 2004 Presidential election.

This article was provided by Douglas J. Callaway, Floridians for Better Transportation. For more information, please contact Mr. Callaway at (850) 521-1256 or email DCallaway@bettertransportation.org.

For more information on ITS Florida, please check the ITS Florida Web site at www.itsflorida.org or contact Diana Carsey, Executive Director, at (727) 409-5415 or email CarseyD@verizon.net.

If you wish to contribute an article to the SunGuide Disseminator on behalf of ITS Florida, please contact Erika Ridlehoover at (813) 376-0036, or email Erika.Ridlehoover@transcore.com.

* * * *

Return to top

 


Editorial Corner – Bringing Together Visitors and ITS . . . Assume Nothing!

Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors stream into Florida for all sorts of reasons –business, pleasure, or to become another permanent resident. The last thing on their minds is the traffic they might encounter after leaving the airport or driving from a rural highway to an urban center. But that seemingly easy drive can take a dramatic turn for the worse when visitors encounter a major traffic jam with no idea of where to turn for information.

Meanwhile, a traffic management center (TMC) has received information on the incident causing this major traffic jam, verified the details, and posted the current conditions on electronic message signs. An advanced traveler information service was notified immediately by the TMC, and a real-time Web site and telephone message system were updated with the incident data. A broadcast traffic service will be reporting the same information in upcoming “live”on-air reports to area radio and television stations.

So where is the disconnect between the visitors and ITS?

Assumptions
There are several assumptions that are made about the users of traveler information. Many assume that drivers know where to look, or that drivers might be looking, for traffic data. Often times, drivers start looking after it’s too late and they are at a standstill in a traffic jam. In some cases, abbreviations on electronic signs are too difficult to decode at high speeds. And, broadcasters assume their listeners know where county lines, along with other geographic delineations, are located and their reports refer to locations that have nary a sign (i.e., the Golden Glades Interchange in Miami).

Is it any wonder that visitors – and many local drivers –get stuck in traffic jams?

Old habits have made advances in ITS difficult. Getting commuters to check on travel conditions ahead of time is twice as hard when those same travelers head for vacation. When those travelers do hear a report, it is often via the attributed source for the majority of traveler information received – commercial broadcast radio. As more and more reliable data is generated, the “old habits” of the broadcast traffic reports work against the traveler. The legacy of headline reports often emphasizes the number of vehicles and injuries (the “news”) instead of vital traveler information –lane closures, length of delays, opposite direction affect, and alternate route conditions.

Visitors Are Locals Too
Transportation professionals can keep improving the quality and reliability of traveler information by addressing the visitor when designing messages and traffic reports. Often times, these visitors are just in from the next town or may be infrequent highway travelers. Local road names are familiar to the locals, but a visitor needs more details –such as the city or town names they see on printed maps.

Promoting the 3-digit 511 traveler information telephone number can be done at the first point of contact –car rental counters, welcome centers, motor clubs, and travel agents. Company representatives at these locations can have an arsenal of Web addresses and phone numbers to check for their clients. For example, if the rental car company accessed traveler information just prior to the visitor leaving the airport, the driver could take an alternate route to avoid an incident. This type of customer service can have a lasting effect for businesses, along with state tourism in general.

The 511 signs should be thought of as just a reminder to let motorists know that traveler information is available. A marketing approach to reach out to all commuters would help reinforce just what 511 is and what it can do for visitors and commuters alike. With a nationwide approach, 511 promotion around the country would help define 3-digit dialing services for visitors.

Reliability
There’s also a “reliability” factor for the visitor. The quality level of traveler information might be quite different from what is found elsewhere. Out-of-state visitors might be accustomed to travel times posted on message signs. Others might not trust what they see or might not be able to utilize conflicting reports from the Internet, radio, and/or a 511 service. Making an informed decision becomes a debate over how current information really is.

Integration
Integrating traveler services with existing tools can be very beneficial. Many travelers use the Internet to book flights, check on arrival/departure times, and arrange other services. This would be a logical place to link these same customers to real-time traveler information on the highways leading to and from the airport. Current conditions or area highway advisories could follow the boarding pass right out of the printer.

The ITS community should assume most visitors are still getting their first traffic backup information the same way they have been for years – they’re stuck in it. Until the level of ITS promotion and marketing improves, a limited number of users will continue to learn about the many ways they can benefit from the hard work of departments of transportation and ITS professionals. Traffic reporting “lingo” and locally known landmarks might have a familiar ring to regular radio listeners, but it has little benefit to a driver unfamiliar with the area who is looking to avoid their next “trafficulty.”

Let’s give every visitor and driver a break –assume nothing about what we think they know. Provide timely, accurate, and user-friendly traveler information to give everyone a fighting chance to make their trip down the highway a lot more stress-free.

This editorial was provided by Bob Murphy, PB Farradyne. For more information, please contact Mr. Murphy at (954) 714-2377 or email at MurphyB@pbworld.com.

 

* * * *

Return to top

 

FDOT Equipment Certification

The FDOT Traffic Engineering and Operations Office, through the Traffic Engineering Research Laboratory (TERL), is responsible for approving all traffic control signal devices. Approved devices are kept on the FDOT Approved Products List (APL), a listing of devices that may be relied upon as meeting FDOT specifications, standards, or other criteria.

The APL is a means for the FDOT to meet Florida Statute 316.0745, Uniform Signals and Devices, which states, “All official traffic control signals or official traffic control devices purchased and installed in this state by any public body or official shall conform with the manual and specifications published by the Department of Transportation pursuant to subsection (2).”

More information on the FDOT APL may be viewed at www.dot.state.fl.us.TrafficOperations/ TERL/APL.htm. Specific approved products in the FDOT APL may be searched at rite.eng.fsu.edu/iapl/page1.php.

Due to Florida's very active hurricane season, this information is not available this month. Please check back in November.

For more information, please contact Carl Morse, FDOT Traffic Engineering and Operations Office, at (850) 414-4863 or email Carl. Morse@dot.state.fl.us.

 

* * * *

Return to top

 

Announcements

Transpo 2004 — Border Wars: Overcoming Transportation Barriers
Transpo 2004 LogoMark December 6-8, 2004, on your calendars for this exciting multi-state (Florida and Georgia), multi-association (Florida/Georgia Sections ITE and ITS Florida/Georgia, the Florida DOT, Georgia DOT, and FHWA), and multi-about-anything-you-can-think-of transportation event. Conference information can be found on the Transpo 2004 Web site at www.ITSTranspo.org.

* * * *

CATSS LogoNational Transportation Multimodal Safety and Security Systems Conference
The Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation (CATSS) at the University of Central Florida is hosting the National Transportation Multimodal Safety and Security Systems Conference for commercial and public transportation safety and security on November 14-17, 2004, at the Wyndham Palace Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Presentations from national, state, and industry subject-matter experts will focus on applied training, enforcement/legislative issues, and technology. Keynote and panel speakers will be from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Association of American Railroads, the Florida Ports Council, the Florida Department of Transportation, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Exhibitors will be from education, government, and industry committed to improving transportation safety and security systems.

For further information, including the agenda and registration, please visit the conference Web site at http://catss.ucf.edu/securityconference/.

* * * *

Welcome Elizabeth!
On September 24, 2004, Elizabeth McCrary, ITS Coordinator for the Distinct 3 ITS Office joined the Incident Management Section in the Traffic Engineering and Operations Office as the new Incident Management Program Manager. Ms. McCrary replaces long-time manager, Buddy Cloud, who retired at the end of August 2004.

Ms. McCrary will assist Mike Akridge with the Incident Management Program which includes the state's service patrols and Road Rangers Program, and with the commercial vehicle operations programs.

Ms. McCrary has nine years experience with FDOT, the last four of which have been in the ITS Program. She has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Management from Florida State University and is sure to be a great asset in the Incident Management Section.

Please join us in welcoming Ms. McCrary to the FDOT Traffic Engineering and Operations Office!

* * * *

Good Luck Anne!
Anne Brewer, iFlorida Program Manager, has accepted a position as the Project Development and Environmental Manager with the FDOT District 5. Ms. Brewer's new position is effective immediately. Ms. Brewer has been involved in the iFlorida Model Deployment Initiative from the beginning and will remain involved as an advisor to support her replacement, Jerry Woods. She will also assist in the National Evaluation Efforts.

Please join the FDOT ITS Section in congratulating Ms. Brewer on her new position and wishing her good luck!

* * * *

Good Luck Diane!
Diane Quigley has left FDOT’s ITS General Consultant and joined the Department of Community Affairs. Please join the FDOT ITS Section in thanking Ms. Quigley for her work and dedication, and wishing her good luck in her new job.

* * * *

Return to top

 

 

 
 
ITS Contacts Banner
District 1
Chris Birosak
FDOT District 1 Traffic Operations
PO Box 1249
Bartow, FL 33831
(863) 519-2507

District 2
Peter Vega
FDOT District 2 Traffic Operations
2250 Irene Street, MS 2815
Jacksonville, FL 32204-2619
(904) 360-5463

District 3
June Coates
FDOT District 3 Traffic Operations
1074 Highway 90 East
Chipley, FL 32428-0607
(850) 638-0250 ext. 692

District 4
Dong Chen
FDOT District 4 Traffic Operations
3400 W. Commercial Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309
(954) 777-4362
District 5
Fred Ferrell
FDOT District 5 Traffic Operations
719 S. Woodland Blvd., MS 3-562
DeLand, FL 32720-6834
(386) 943-5309

District 6
Jesus Martinez
FDOT District 6
1000 NW 111th Avenue, MS 6203
Miami, FL 33172
(305) 499-2446

District 7
Bill Wilshire
FDOT District 7 Traffic Operations
11201 N. McKinley Drive
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 975-6612 ext. 7869

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise
Ingrid Birenbaum
Florida's Turnpike Enterprise
PO Box 9828
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33310-9828
(954) 975-4855 ext. 1290

Lap Hoang
State Traffic Engineer
(850) 414-4866

Elizabeth Birriel
Deputy State Traffic Engineer - ITS
(850) 410-5600

Gene Glotzbach
ITS Deployments
(850) 410-5616

Liang Hsia
ITS Architectures, Standards,
Research and Training
(850) 410-5615

Mike Akridge
Commercial Vehicle Operations
(850) 410-5607

Nick Adams
ITS Telecommunications
(850) 410-5608

Physical
Address
Rhyne Building
2740 Centerview Dr.
Suite 3-B
Tallahassee, FL
32301
Mailing
Address
Burns Building
605 Suwannee St.
M.S. 90
Tallahassee, FL
32399
 

* * * *

Return to top

   

   SunGuide Disseminator                                              October 2004

PBS&J QCAP Document Control Panel
Created by: England
Reviewed by: England, Hoke
Date: October 4, 2004