Performance Measures Framework and Tools for Managed Lanes Analysis

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General Information
Solicitation Number: 1445
Status: Solicitation withdrawn
Date Posted: Mar 03, 2017
Last Updated: May 28, 2019
Solicitation Expires: Mar 03, 2018
Partners: TX
Lead Organization: Alabama Department of Transportation
Financial Summary
Commitment Start Year: 2017
Commitment End Year: 2018
100% SP&R Approval: Approved
Commitments Required: $300,000.00
Commitments Received: $50,000.00
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Supriya Kamatkar
skamatkar@dot.ga.gov
FHWA Technical Liaison(s): James Colyar
james.colyar@fhwa.dot.gov
Phone: 202-493-3282
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Texas Department of Transportation 2018 $50,000.00 Bill Knowles Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov

Background

Managed lanes are facilities that are proactively managed in response to changing operating conditions. Priced managed lanes, or “Express Lanes” are becoming particularly common throughout the US. Billions of dollars are being spent to construct and study managed lanes projects, and more than 20 Express Lane facilities are now operational. Furthermore, almost every major metropolitan area now has some form of managed lanes which manage operations through pricing, vehicle eligibility requirements, access control, or active traffic control. Active management makes existing facilities more efficient and stretches capital investment, but the performance and cost-effectiveness of managed lanes is more complicated to evaluate than most traditional capital investments. While most operating agencies recognize the intrinsic value of managed lanes, there are no formal processes for evaluating the effectiveness of these huge public investments.

Unlike traditional highway investments, managed lanes systems are dynamic. Flexible operating strategies are implemented to actively manage both the travel demand and the facility’s operations. Hence, the performance of managed lanes is constantly changing. Research and previous experience have shown that managed lanes increase operating speeds and improve travel times for drivers on the managed lanes as well as for drivers on adjacent general purpose (GP) lanes. However, quantifying the full range of benefits is difficult, because freeway systems (especially these freeway systems) are complex. Also, many of the data needs for proper evaluation are specific to these managed lanes, meaning that applicable data are often not available to assess project performance.

Another complication is that managed lanes are unique. Each managed lane implementation presents issues and challenges, especially because managed lanes are typically implemented in high-demand, congested corridors. On these corridors, planners and engineers face multiple competing goals of safety/operations, operations/revenue, and efficiency/enforcement. With so many different factors in play, evaluations are challenging. Comprehensive guidance for evaluating these facilities is needed.

The planning and implementation of any managed lane facility requires identifying a set of clear, measurable goals and objectives. For managed lanes already in operation, constant monitoring of performance is also critical to ensure goals are met and to consider potential enhancements. Performance monitoring and analysis of managed lanes requires a wide range of data that usually come from multiple sources: transponder tag readers, loop detectors, machine vision or microwave systems, license plate monitoring, Bluetooth readers, incident logs, toll rates, and other sources. These data are typically multi-dimensional: changing with time, pricing, occupancy, mode, incident conditions, traffic performance (i.e. volumes, speeds, and travel time) and user group.

In summary, managed lane performance evaluation guidance is needed and would prove valuable to every major urban area in the US implementing or planning for the implementation of managed lanes. Agencies need help to understand the state of the practice and to learn from previous experience. Planning guidance is needed to support the development, management, and evaluation of managed lane facilities. Concessionaires and sponsors need support in assessing the benefits of financial investments. Residents and commuters need information to support potential projects. Decision-makers need models and tools to perform appropriate benefit/cost analysis of potential managed lane projects and weigh the benefits of these projects against the benefits of traditional projects. Given that billions of dollars are currently being invested in managed lanes, it is imperative that guidance be developed to identify applicable performance measures, collect the proper data, and conduct appropriate analyses.

Objectives

The proposed project would develop a national technical guidance document to provide practitioners with critical information on setting up a data-driven performance measurement plan for managed lane projects. The intent is to give practitioners guidance to support a plan to monitor and evaluate the identified performance measures. The guidance would serve as a managed lane benefit/cost analysis manual, including both the data collection specifications and the models/tools needed. The work product would provide users with a library of tools at their disposal.

At a minimum, the focus of this research is to develop a tool that accomplishes the following goals:

• Provides a “smart” list, to guide the selection of performance metrics applicable to each local situation

• Identifies performance measures for specific projects as a function of project type and goals and objectives

• Supports planning, marketing and outreach, public engagement, operation, ongoing assessment, and operations

• Considers not only the managed lanes system, but the corridor and region, and includes interrelationships with other systems, such as managed lanes and ramp metering.

• Identifies strategies for collecting, organizing, and reporting data.

• Guides system design for automated data collection for monitoring and performance evaluation

• Delivers guidance on how to compare competing goals, like safety/operation, operation/revenue, and efficiency/enforcement.

• Informs agencies about unique data requirements

• Provides guidance in response to legislative requirements

Scope of Work

The proposed “Performance Measures and Tools Framework for Managed Lanes” might become a nationally-recognized approach to managed lanes project performance measurement. The performance measures would be multi-dimensional, targeted to different audiences, and address different needs. For example, performance measures may include changes in vehicle throughput (lane and GP), person throughput, revenue, speed/travel time, emissions, and safety. Data will need to be useful to a variety of audiences, with advice on how to use it to communicate with decision-makers and the general public.

Inputs/outputs will likely include:

● Identification of stakeholders and interests in managed lanes

● Development of appropriate managed lane performance metrics

● Identification of data elements required for assessment of each performance metric

● Data collection guidance for field evaluations of travel time savings, congestion reduction, revenue, user feedback, and all performance metrics

● Specifications for data quality

● Guidance on identifying complex technical/design issues, such as weaving, access locations, potential conflict points, number of lanes per direction (one lane vs. two lanes for passing ability), lane separators, etc.

● Modeling of future operating conditions, including evaluations for multiple modes, congestion, weaving operations

● Software selection for toll collection and operations monitoring

● Guidance on developing new planning-level tools

● Management plan guidance for elements such as revenue, enforcement, and policy issues

● Performance measurement manual

Comments

Georgia Department of Transportation will contribute $100,000. Requested contribution per partner is $25,000 per year for two years.

No document attached.

Performance Measures Framework and Tools for Managed Lanes Analysis

General Information
Solicitation Number: 1445
Status: Solicitation withdrawn
Date Posted: Mar 03, 2017
Last Updated: May 28, 2019
Solicitation Expires: Mar 03, 2018
Partners: TX
Lead Organization: Alabama Department of Transportation
Financial Summary
Commitment Start Year: 2017
Commitment End Year: 2018
100% SP&R Approval: Approved
Commitments Required: $300,000.00
Commitments Received: $50,000.00
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Supriya Kamatkar
skamatkar@dot.ga.gov
FHWA Technical Liaison(s): James Colyar
james.colyar@fhwa.dot.gov
Phone: 202-493-3282
Commitments by Organizations
Agency Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Texas Department of Transportation 2018 $50,000.00 Bill Knowles Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov

Background

Managed lanes are facilities that are proactively managed in response to changing operating conditions. Priced managed lanes, or “Express Lanes” are becoming particularly common throughout the US. Billions of dollars are being spent to construct and study managed lanes projects, and more than 20 Express Lane facilities are now operational. Furthermore, almost every major metropolitan area now has some form of managed lanes which manage operations through pricing, vehicle eligibility requirements, access control, or active traffic control. Active management makes existing facilities more efficient and stretches capital investment, but the performance and cost-effectiveness of managed lanes is more complicated to evaluate than most traditional capital investments. While most operating agencies recognize the intrinsic value of managed lanes, there are no formal processes for evaluating the effectiveness of these huge public investments.

Unlike traditional highway investments, managed lanes systems are dynamic. Flexible operating strategies are implemented to actively manage both the travel demand and the facility’s operations. Hence, the performance of managed lanes is constantly changing. Research and previous experience have shown that managed lanes increase operating speeds and improve travel times for drivers on the managed lanes as well as for drivers on adjacent general purpose (GP) lanes. However, quantifying the full range of benefits is difficult, because freeway systems (especially these freeway systems) are complex. Also, many of the data needs for proper evaluation are specific to these managed lanes, meaning that applicable data are often not available to assess project performance.

Another complication is that managed lanes are unique. Each managed lane implementation presents issues and challenges, especially because managed lanes are typically implemented in high-demand, congested corridors. On these corridors, planners and engineers face multiple competing goals of safety/operations, operations/revenue, and efficiency/enforcement. With so many different factors in play, evaluations are challenging. Comprehensive guidance for evaluating these facilities is needed.

The planning and implementation of any managed lane facility requires identifying a set of clear, measurable goals and objectives. For managed lanes already in operation, constant monitoring of performance is also critical to ensure goals are met and to consider potential enhancements. Performance monitoring and analysis of managed lanes requires a wide range of data that usually come from multiple sources: transponder tag readers, loop detectors, machine vision or microwave systems, license plate monitoring, Bluetooth readers, incident logs, toll rates, and other sources. These data are typically multi-dimensional: changing with time, pricing, occupancy, mode, incident conditions, traffic performance (i.e. volumes, speeds, and travel time) and user group.

In summary, managed lane performance evaluation guidance is needed and would prove valuable to every major urban area in the US implementing or planning for the implementation of managed lanes. Agencies need help to understand the state of the practice and to learn from previous experience. Planning guidance is needed to support the development, management, and evaluation of managed lane facilities. Concessionaires and sponsors need support in assessing the benefits of financial investments. Residents and commuters need information to support potential projects. Decision-makers need models and tools to perform appropriate benefit/cost analysis of potential managed lane projects and weigh the benefits of these projects against the benefits of traditional projects. Given that billions of dollars are currently being invested in managed lanes, it is imperative that guidance be developed to identify applicable performance measures, collect the proper data, and conduct appropriate analyses.

Objectives

The proposed project would develop a national technical guidance document to provide practitioners with critical information on setting up a data-driven performance measurement plan for managed lane projects. The intent is to give practitioners guidance to support a plan to monitor and evaluate the identified performance measures. The guidance would serve as a managed lane benefit/cost analysis manual, including both the data collection specifications and the models/tools needed. The work product would provide users with a library of tools at their disposal.

At a minimum, the focus of this research is to develop a tool that accomplishes the following goals:

• Provides a “smart” list, to guide the selection of performance metrics applicable to each local situation

• Identifies performance measures for specific projects as a function of project type and goals and objectives

• Supports planning, marketing and outreach, public engagement, operation, ongoing assessment, and operations

• Considers not only the managed lanes system, but the corridor and region, and includes interrelationships with other systems, such as managed lanes and ramp metering.

• Identifies strategies for collecting, organizing, and reporting data.

• Guides system design for automated data collection for monitoring and performance evaluation

• Delivers guidance on how to compare competing goals, like safety/operation, operation/revenue, and efficiency/enforcement.

• Informs agencies about unique data requirements

• Provides guidance in response to legislative requirements

Scope of Work

The proposed “Performance Measures and Tools Framework for Managed Lanes” might become a nationally-recognized approach to managed lanes project performance measurement. The performance measures would be multi-dimensional, targeted to different audiences, and address different needs. For example, performance measures may include changes in vehicle throughput (lane and GP), person throughput, revenue, speed/travel time, emissions, and safety. Data will need to be useful to a variety of audiences, with advice on how to use it to communicate with decision-makers and the general public.

Inputs/outputs will likely include:

● Identification of stakeholders and interests in managed lanes

● Development of appropriate managed lane performance metrics

● Identification of data elements required for assessment of each performance metric

● Data collection guidance for field evaluations of travel time savings, congestion reduction, revenue, user feedback, and all performance metrics

● Specifications for data quality

● Guidance on identifying complex technical/design issues, such as weaving, access locations, potential conflict points, number of lanes per direction (one lane vs. two lanes for passing ability), lane separators, etc.

● Modeling of future operating conditions, including evaluations for multiple modes, congestion, weaving operations

● Software selection for toll collection and operations monitoring

● Guidance on developing new planning-level tools

● Management plan guidance for elements such as revenue, enforcement, and policy issues

● Performance measurement manual

Comments

Georgia Department of Transportation will contribute $100,000. Requested contribution per partner is $25,000 per year for two years.

No document attached.

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