April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
Error processing SSI file
is a publication of:
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
Engineering and Operations Office
605 Suwannee Street, M.S. 36
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0450
Posting Travel Times Using
SunGuide™ Software and Dynamic Message Signs
In July 2004, the Federal
Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a policy statement recommending the
use of dynamic message signs (DMSs) to deliver real-time travel
information. Bob Rupert of the FHWA in Washington D.C. said, “Providing
travel time information is an excellent method of notifying motorists
about current conditions in a manner that can be easily interpreted and
In response to this
direction, the FDOT incorporate into its SunGuide™ Software the
capabilities to receive data from vehicle detectors on the roadway,
compile the data, and automatically post the travel time information on
DMSs located along the roadway from where the data had come from.
First we will discuss the
experience in using the system in Tampa Bay; then we will discuss the
The Tampa Bay
How does this travel time system
work? The raw speed data is collected by microwave or micro loop vehicle
detectors that are strategically placed along the highways every half
mile. This data is transmitted to the SunGuide software management system
over an internet protocol communications network. The data signals are
collected from the detectors at one-minute intervals; travel times are
calculated based on average speeds and distances between roadway sensors
and automatically updated to the DMSs by the Tampa Bay SunGuide Center
Currently I-275 and I-4 have 18 DMSs to
assist the motoring public in planning for a timely arrival at their
intended destinations. In the event of an incident, the motorist would be
notified via the DMSs and could appropriately plan for the delay or choose
to take alternate routes.
During non-incident times,
the DMSs display travel times. Nationwide studies have been conducted
regarding the use and effectiveness of DMSs and found solid public support
for the travel time messages. This practice of posting travel times in
Tampa Bay began on May 4, 2007. The ITS staff in Tampa felt that a major
accomplishment had been achieved in the integration of the various ITS to
provide a simple message to the en route motorist.
Since September 2004, travel
time information had been supplied to the traveling public by the 511
Tampa Bay Travel Information System. This travel time information, which
came from 100 sensors located over 80 miles of interstate roadway, was
given to them by viewing a Web site at http://www.tampabay.com/ before they even got on the
road, or by dialing 511 while en route. Now the DMSs provided a second
source for the en route motorist. However, it was quickly found that the
Tampa Bay motoring public expects accurate information in a timely manner
which could be read easily at high speeds. In response to this, the Tampa
Bay ITS staff have devoted an extensive amount of time to “tuning” the
vehicle detectors to provide real-time speed from which to estimate (i.e.
calculate as accurate as possible) travel time on individual segments of
the roadway. Also, the message format has been changed to be more easily
read at high operating speeds and still understood by eliminating “obvious
or confusing” information.
In Tampa Bay, the ITS staff
are continuing to improve on providing accurate, timely, and clear travel
time messages using the SunGuide software and the ITS components of
detection, video, fiber optic communications links, DMSs, and the Tampa
Bay SunGuide Center.
District Two began displaying
automated travel times on eight dynamic message signs (DMSs) on the south
end of I-95 in Jacksonville at the beginning of June 2007. Prior to
initiating this effort, the District Two ITS team had to recalibrate
several of the EIS remote traffic microwave sensor vehicle detectors to
insure accurate readings. This was a critical step in the process as these
detectors had not been checked since installation was completed about two
years ago and were initially providing inaccurate readings.
The cause of the inaccurate
readings has not been determined. It could have been due to improper
installation, the initial calibration, loosening of connections, or some
type of interference. In any case, the detectors that could have produced
travel time errors were recalibrated to ensure the best available data for
the SunGuide software.
Travel times on the DMSs were activated on
Monday, June 4th at 7:00 a.m.. That morning, several of the District’s ITS
staff drove probe vehicles to test the travel times displayed on DMSs
versus the actual travel times. In each case the travel times were right
on target; however, this was mostly during free flow travel conditions.
The real challenge would be when travel times were tested against heavy
congestion or incidents downstream from the DMS.
By 9:00 a.m. on June 4th, we
received our first call from the media. They noticed the travel times
displayed on the DMSs and wanted to do a segment for their evening news.
Overall, it was a good report on travel times; however, while still in the
learning process, they did catch Pete Vega, figuratively, with his pants
down. The issue was that for short distances the SunGuide travel times
should not be using a range format. In particular, there was one DMS that
stated to the effect “I-295 – 4 miles ahead – 2 to 4 minutes.”
Of course, the media put its
spin on the message and joked that the FDOT was encouraging speeding (2
minutes travel time equaled 100 mph for this distance). Early the next
morning we investigated the issue and found that rounding errors will come
into play for short distance readings. The corrective action taken was to
make it a general rule that any travel time distance less than 5 miles
would use the default message of less than 5 minutes. In SunGuide the
ranges would only be automatically activated and displayed if travel times
were greater than 5 minutes (thus indicating an incident/heavy
It has now been over a month
since the DMSs began displaying travel times. We continuously receive
compliments from very pleased motorists who check our accuracy on a daily
basis and remind us of how great this information is for them. Overall, it
has been a terrific learning experience and huge success for our ITS
program so we look forward to expanding this information to other DMSs in
the near future.
Oh, as for travel times
during heavy congestion and incidents? Well, we jump at every opportunity
to test the travel times with probe vehicles during these types of events.
In each case, the detectors and SunGuide software were right on the money.
The neatest thing to see is the increase in the travel time display as the
queue builds up; thereby showing that the algorithm is actually working
according to plan. Kudos to Southwest Research Institute!!!
This article was provided by
Bill Wilshire, FDOT District 7 and Peter Vega, FDOT District 2. For
information, please contact Mr. Wilshire at (813) 975-6612 or email to Bill.Wilshire@dot.state.fl.us;
or contact Mr. Vega at (904) 630-5463 or email Peter.Vega@dot.state.fl.us.
* * * *
Speedway—How Do They Clear Out All That Traffic?
you a race fan? Do you love those magic words, “Gentlemen... start your
engines?” Ever wonder how 250,000+ race fans make it in and out of the
Daytona International Speedway safely?
Well, another year is behind
us for the 2007 NASCAR Racing Season at the Daytona International
Speedway. Twice a year 250,000+ race fans come for the thrill of
experiencing the “Super Bowl” of racing—The Daytona 500 held every
February and/or the Pepsi 400 held every July.
For the Daytona Beach Police
Department, Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), fire rescue, other law
enforcement, Daytona Beach Traffic Engineering, Volusia County Traffic
Engineering, Road Rangers, FDOT District 5 and other agencies, these
events bring much more. There is massive man power, equipment, planning,
and coordination between all agencies.
For the February 2007
Daytona 500 Race, the day began at 4:00 a.m. before the race fans arrive.
The Daytona Beach Traffic Engineering and Volusia County Traffic
Engineering field personnel were setting up cone patterns and other
traffic control devices around the city. Personnel in the Daytona Beach
Traffic Management Center (TMC) were preparing traffic signal timings to
be changed for the influx of traffic at any moment. Traffic intersections
were monitored by the 30+ city of Daytona Beach closed-circuit television
(CCTV) cameras located at signalized intersections. The Daytona Beach
Police Department and other law enforcement, brought in from agencies
throughout the region, began staging at traffic posts to control the
incoming pedestrians and to keep traffic moving. The FHP, who brought
Troopers in from all over the state of Florida, reported to traffic posts
along Interstate 4 and Interstate 95 as well as within the Daytona Beach
city limits. While at these traffic posts, they were opening and closing
ramps, as needed, for all the race fans trying to exit Interstate 95 at US
92 (International Speedway Boulevard). The FDOT District 5 is stationed at
the Daytona Beach TMC where 64 CCTV cameras, 52 dynamic message signs
(DMSs), 511 messages, and Road Rangers are managed for the Daytona/Volusia
County area. The I-4 Road Rangers limits were expanded to include extra
patrols along Interstate 95 to assist the race fans with any roadside
assistance and to assist FHP with the closing of any exit ramps.
By 7:00 a.m., the traffic
starts building. Traffic at the northbound Interstate 95 / US 92 exit ramp
has now stopped. If no action is taken to get traffic off of Interstate
95, the potential for a serious traffic crash increases. With the change
of a cone pattern down at the bottom of the US 92 ramp and a change to the
traffic signal timings along US 92 to favor eastbound traffic, the traffic
on the ramp slowly moves and then is finally no longer a problem on
By 1:00 p.m., all of the
race fans are in their parking spaces and the race will not begin for
another hour. By 2:00 p.m., the race fans are in their seats waiting for
those famous words. By 8:30 p.m., the race is over.
Before any race fan has left
their seat, traffic cone patterns have been changed, traffic signal
timings have been changed, all law enforcement have changed locations to
their outbound traffic posts and the FDOT DMSs have new messages displayed
to guide the race fans on to the Interstate. As fans start walking from
the race track, all traffic on US 92 is held in its place for
approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Traffic is held while the 150,000+
race fans from the front grandstands start walking to either a bus for a
ride to the free parking lots or to a private parking space along US 92
that they paid $50+ for.
Once the race fans reach
their vehicles, approximately 70 percent of them want to travel westbound
on Interstate 4. If all this traffic was allowed to travel westbound at
the same time, they would still be sitting in the parking lots. Most of
the outbound traffic patterns for the race are set to force race fans in a
direction they don’t want to go. But thanks to the FDOT DMSs, law
enforcement at traffic posts, and traffic cone patterns, the race fans
soon realize that though they were sent northbound or southbound, they
eventually will get to travel in the direction they want to go.
During the outbound pattern
of a race you prepare for anything. For the first time ever during the
outbound of The Daytona 500 Race, there was a shooting on westbound
Interstate 4, east of SR 44 (Mile Marker 119), which resulted in a
homicide between a race fan and motorist. Traffic came to a grinding halt
at 9:38 p.m. All lanes were closed eastbound and westbound. The gunmen
were arrested in Seminole County on Interstate 4 at US 17/92. Now two
sections of Interstate 4 were closed and all of the race fans trying to go
westbound on Interstate 4 couldn’t. The shooting occurred a half mile
prior to the SR 44 exit where there are no other exits in between. There
were 13 miles of traffic with no place to go. With the assistance from VMS
(FDOT I-95 Asset Management Contractor), FDOT DeLand Maintenance, FHP,
FDOT District 5 Regional Traffic Management Center, FDOT District 5 at the
Daytona TMC, and Road Rangers, the necessary maintenance of traffic for
all closures was provided, messages on DMSs were established, detour route
information was provided on 511, and assistance for the 13 miles of
trapped motorists on Interstate 4 were turned around. One lane of traffic
was finally opened at 12:30 a.m.
Here we are again for the
July 2007 Pepsi 400 race. Same group of agencies together again and hoping
for good weather. A Busch Series race was cancelled due to rain on Friday,
July 6, 2007. This race was rescheduled for Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m.
So now everyone had to prepare for two races in one day. Luck was on our
side—the inbound traffic for the races was uneventful. The weather was bad
all around the speedway, where a tornado had briefly touched down in the
city of Port Orange, only 10 miles to the south of Daytona Beach.
Fortunately, the bad weather did not affect either race. The attendance
for the Pepsi 400 is not as large as the Daytona 500. It was estimated at
approximately 125,000. The race ended at 11:30 p.m. The outbound traffic
patterns were the same as the Daytona 500. Again, traffic was held for
pedestrians crossing US 92 and motorists were forced in a direction they
didn’t want to go. By 1:00 a.m., race fans were slowly driving away from
the speedway. By 2:00 a.m., traffic was fast approaching the normal speed
Many law enforcement and
traffic engineering agencies come to observe behind the scenes to see what
it takes to manage such a large event. Visitors are quite surprised to
hear that the smaller races, that only draw a crowd size of 60,000, are
considered “a piece of cake.” But no matter the size of the event, Daytona
Beach Traffic Engineering, Daytona Beach Police Department, FHP and other
law enforcement, fire departments, Volusia County Traffic Engineering,
FDOT, and many other agencies all work together to get race fans safely to
and from the Daytona International Speedway.
This article was provided by
Jennifer Heller, FDOT District 5. For information, please contact Ms.
Heller at (386) 943-5322 or email to Jennifer.Heller@dot.state.fl.us.
* * * *
* * * *
Telecommunications has been
busy over the past few months. Here are some of the highlights of what’s
Rangers and the Statewide Law Enforcement Radio
The FDOT has been approved to use the Statewide Law
Enforcement Radio System (SLERS) to support Road Ranger communications and
the Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Programs. The use of the SLERS will
provide interoperability between the Road Rangers programs, transportation
management centers (TMCs), and state law enforcement agencies, primarily
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). This interoperability will assist the FDOT
and FHP in complying with their cooperative traffic incident clearance
agreement, the Florida Open Roads Policy. In particular, interoperability
will help achieve the policy goal of clearing traffic incidents in 90
FDOT completed a technical
memorandum report on Road Ranger Communications, dated February 9, 2007,
detailing the results of an investigation into current Road Ranger
communications and the effect similar use will have on SLERS. The
Telecommunication general consultant surveyed each District and Florida’s
Turnpike Enterprise, and also observed TMC management of Road Rangers to
assess the current voice radio traffic.
Using Cell Phones to Estimate Travel
Travel time data is important for
transportation planning. Conventional data collection methods that utilize
cameras and sensors, and counting vehicles at toll booths, can be costly.
New technology using cell phones might provide an alternative means of
estimating travel time. The practicality, accuracy, and reliability of
this alternative needed to be determined and compared to other data
This project, Travel Time
Estimation using Cell Phones (TTECP) for Highways and Roadways, was
initiated by the FDOT at Florida International University (FIU). This
project investigated the maturity of cell phone technologies for
application as real-time traffic probes for travel time estimations along
the highways and roadways. Also, the reliability, accuracy, and
reproducibility of the travel speed and travel time computations, based on
cell phones as travel probes, was investigated and compared with other
methods, such as the 511-based operations and global positioning system
The project team determined,
through their investigation, that cell phone technology is viable and
mature under the normal conditions of free traffic flow for estimating
travel times. However, the team also found that cell phone technology is
not accurate in congested traffic conditions (where the data is more
important than in the free-flow traffic conditions), and the accuracy
decreases rapidly as congestion increases.
Additionally, there are
other issues with using cell phones as travel probes, such as:
- Privacy of the cell phone
users whose phone transmissions are being probed by the cell companies
for location data,
- Irregular and transient
cell data for travel time and speed computations, especially during
congested traffic and severe weather conditions,
- Limited capabilities of
the travel time providers to follow changes by the cell companies in
their data formats and structures.
- Incompatibility of data
when switching from one travel time provider to another (with different
affiliations with the cell phone companies).
regarding this project is located online at the FDOT Research Center at http://www.dot.state.fl.us/research-center/.
Televent Farradyne Awarded
Telecommunication General Consultant Contract
The FDOT retained
Televent Farradyne for professional services of a Telecommunications
General Consultant to provide a wide range of assistance for the ITS
Program’s telecommunications networks related with the Public Safety Land
Mobile Radio communications system, its supportive infrastructures, and
the communications systems associated with the ITS Program.
A principal task of the
Consultant is the preparation of design criteria packages for design-build
procurements, and specifications for low bid procurements for public
safety land mobile radio communications systems, supportive communications
infrastructures and the ITS communications systems for implementation,
deployment, and integration within the state.
These updates were provided
by Randy Pierce, FDOT Traffic Engineering and Operations Office. For
information, please contact Mr. Pierce at (850) 410-5608 or email to Randy.Pierce@dot.state.fl.us.
* * * *
Expressway Authority Continues with Toll Plaza Conversion
The Orlando–Orange County
Expressway Authority (Expressway Authority) is currently implementing an
aggressive program to convert all of its traditional mainline
barrier-style toll plazas to express toll plazas. These express toll
plazas are configured with open-road tolling through the mainline lanes
and traditional barrier-style tolling to the sides. Customers utilizing
Expressway Authority’s automatic vehicle identification (AVI) technology,
called E-PASS, will continue on the mainline and pay the toll at
expressway speeds. Cash customers will diverge off the mainline, pass
through a barrier-style toll plaza to pay the toll, and merge back onto
A steady increase in the use
of AVI by Expressway Authority customers (nearly 66 percent of all weekday
traffic today) has led to the need for additional E-PASS lanes at the
mainline toll plazas. In an effort to maximize throughput and
significantly increase safety at the mainline tolling points, all existing
mainline toll facilities (with the exception of Beachline Airport) will be
converted to express plazas as part of the current Five-Year Work Plan.
Seven of the 10 mainline plazas on SR 408, SR 417, and SR 528 have already
been converted to express lanes: University, Curry Ford, Dean Road,
Hiawassee, John Young, Boggy Creek, and Pine Hills Mainline Plazas.
Holland East is currently under construction and will be complete in 2009.
Beachline Mainline is currently in the construction bidding phase and will
be complete in late 2008. The two toll facilities on SR 429, Forest Lake
and Independence, were originally constructed in the express plaza
configuration. The plan for the last existing mainline plaza, Beachline
Airport, is still to be determined. It will either be converted to an
express plaza configuration, or demolished with tolls being collected at
the Florida’s Turnpike Beachline West Mainline Plaza.
The University Mainline toll
plaza had average annual weekday traffic of 61,000 and operated with eight
total lanes in 2002. During peak hours the existing plaza was configured
with a 5/3 split favoring the peak direction. It was at this location
where the Expressway Authority began construction of their first toll
plaza conversion in February 2002. Opened in August 2003, this project
proved to be an enormous success for the Expressway Authority. The new
express toll plaza consists of four express lanes and eight cash lanes
(four in each direction). The reaction from customers using the new
express plaza was overwhelming and the Board decided to move forward with
a plan to convert all existing toll plazas as expeditiously as possible.
A key to the success of this program has been the Expressway
Authority’s ability to minimize disruption to their customers as the
conversion projects are in construction. Development of maintenance of
traffic (MOT) plans for these projects has provided detailed focus on the
different traffic patterns and payment methods at each of the plaza
locations. A successful MOT plan is the result of detailed coordination
between the Expressway Authority’s design, construction, and operations
staff. While in construction it is not uncommon for a contractor to offer
a different phasing or changes to the MOT plan. All proposed changes are
carefully reviewed by Expressway Authority staff and are considered based
on their impact to the customers. Some of the tools used in development of
the MOT plan were the Expressway Authority’s daily transaction reports
from the mainline plazas, the annual Data and Statistics Manual
and detailed constructability reviews.
The Expressway Authority also sought a method of analyzing the
operations of the converted plazas that would provide information on toll
lane capacity, vehicle queuing and stops, quantification of vehicle delay,
and a simulation of the operation, including merging and diverging to the
cash lanes. VisSim™, a sophisticated traffic analysis software package
that is capable of analyzing the complicated operations found at these
toll plazas, was selected to serve this need. This software package was
chosen due to its ability to combine the above analysis components into a
single traffic model and its flexibility to analyze the several different
toll transaction types found on the Expressway Authority
The Expressway Authority
also used various bidding methods—traditional low bid, A+B bidding, and
project of critical concern contractor prequalification. Two of the
conversions, Holland East and Pine Hills, were included in the SR 408
widening projects instead of being bid as stand alone conversion projects.
All of these methods have proven to be successful and the Expressway
Authority considers each project on an individual basis when deciding the
preferred bidding method at each plaza location.
The Expressway Authority
considers the conversion program to be an enormous success. As the program
nears completion there continues to be an overwhelming positive response
from Expressway Authority customers and the number of E-PASS transactions
continues to increase as new AVI customers realize the value of the
express lane configuration.
This article was provided by
L.A. Griffin, Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority. For information,
please contact Mr. Griffin at (407) 316-3800 or email to
* * * *
Editorial Corner—Data, Data, Data...
How to Manage It
The FDOT Districts have
deployed ITS field devices, subsystems, and support telecommunications
systems in various areas of the state. These ITS subsystems are comprised
of a complex network of cables, wireless links, electronics, and field
devices that are constantly changing through system expansions, routine
maintenance, or equipment updates.
As a result, ITS gathers a
lot of data. It’s the cornerstone of ITS. It’s what these complex systems
gather, analyze, and redistribute to the public via the deployed
detectors, closed-circuit television cameras, dynamic message signs,
highway advisory radio, and all other ITS devices. Data is the backbone of
our performance measures and our 511 services.
So…What Data Do We
There are the usual ITS data, like volume, speed, and occupancy of
travel lanes; images of slow downs and incidents; information on weather
conditions; almost everything that could affect the roadway system and
traveling public is captured. But what about the data (information) about
the systems themselves.
As an agency, FDOT also has
this information on the ITS themselves as well. The problem is, as a
statewide agency, we have it in all sorts of different locations. The
information about the ITS is partially located in the FDOT’s Ten-Year
ITS Cost Feasible Plan, in as-built drawings at each District, in the
Operations and Replacement Cost Feasible Plan, in the SunGuide™ Software,
in other asset management softwares, and, in some cases, just in the minds
of those who have been around long enough to remember the where(s),
when(s), how(s), and why(s) of some of these systems.
The lack of statewide
standards for ITS plans preparation, as-built documentation, and
operational ITS facility management tools makes it difficult for FDOT to
manage the overall network, the system configuration, and its components
(assets). This greatly impacts FDOT’s ability, and the effort required, to
troubleshoot maintenance issues and to plan and design timely network
expansions or rearrangements. This also results in higher costs and effort
expended to maintain the network, and can aggravate service interruptions
impacting the ITS and its designed purpose.
FDOT needs a way to compile
information regarding network assets into a single location allowing the
Districts and the Central Office to collectively manage the entire system.
Such a capability would facilitate identifying requirements to ensure
proper planning for future growth and funding availability.
Just imagine, being able to
find all of Florida’s ITS information from a single database. It is
strongly urged that FDOT continue to look at developing just such a
database. It could save time, effort, and money for FDOT’s ITS
This editorial was provided
by Tahira Faquir, PBS&J and Frank Deasy, Televent Farradyne. For
information, please contact Ms. Faquir at (407) 806-4208 or email to TahiraFaquir@pbsj.com; or contact
Mr. Deasy at (850) 410-5609 or email Frank.Deasy@dot.state.fl.us.
* * * *
Exhibits at ITS America
ITS Florida was an exhibitor at the ITS America 2007
Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Palm Springs, California, on June 4-6,
2007. There were more than 2,000 people registered for the meeting,
including the 500 people who signed up just to visit the exhibit hall! The
ITS Florida exhibit featured logos of 57 of the 114 ITS Florida members,
mounted on a table-top display with a new sleek, black headliner. The
booth was positioned at a corner towards the front of the Palms Springs
Exhibit Hall and on an inside isle which got a lot of good traffic. In
three days, at least 300 people stopped by the booth, inquiring about
potentials for marketing their products, working in Florida, inquiring
about membership in ITS Florida, or greeting other ITS Florida
Immediately next to the FDOT
exhibit, we were able to walk many visitors over to FDOT and introduce
them to staff in that booth as well. This proximity provided synergy
whereby people interested in getting their products introduced, or who
were already supplying products or services to Florida but were curious
about other Florida projects, could be easily connect to the FDOT staff
We had a new “barrel-shaped” table in our exhibit
space where we offered give-aways provided to us by VISITFLORIDA in
Tallahassee. The giveaways were a new folding map of Florida and a “VISIT
FLORIDA” lapel pin. Both were very popular. The barrel display space was a
small additional cost, but it allowed people walking by our booth a place
to pause before they headed out the door; and this gave us a chance to
introduce them to Florida!
Information about ITS
Florida was provided by our newly published 2006 Annual Report and our
brochures. People inquiring about joining ITS Florida were given a
brochure which includes a registration form. We exchanged business cards,
and we are following up on more than an dozen new contacts. People
inquiring about what ITS Florida does learned about our “Speakers Bureau”
project, and they were given our Annual Report and “The Future Is Now”
brochure which is a great “leave-behind” when meeting with local elected
officials. Additional copies of the brochures and the Annual Report are
available on request, and can be viewed on the ITS Florida Web site http://www.itsflorida.org/bookshelf_officialdocs.php.
There was one other ITS
America State Chapter (California) exhibiting at the ITS America 2007
Annual Meeting and Exhibition, and we compared notes with them. ITS
California was representing their membership organization, and their
exhibit was next to the California DOT, who was a sponsor of the Vehicle
Infrastructure Integration (VII) demonstrations that were running
continuously during the Exhibition. We picked up ITS California membership
materials to compare programs with ours here in Florida.
During the three-day
exhibition, we met other State Chapter members whose Chapters were not
exhibiting this year. They asked numerous questions about our organization
and our programs. Visitors and members alike seemed impressed by the
images of member logos under lights, and often our corner was a bit
crowded with people pausing to chat.
ITS Florida was among three
State Chapters along with Michigan and Georgia competing as finalists in
the 2006 Best of ITS State Chapter Award category. The Michigan State
Chapter won the award. Ken Jacobs of Pinellas County Traffic presented the
ITS Florida case at the State Chapters Workshop on June 3rd in Palm
Springs. At that meeting, he circulated the first-ever Annual Report to
other State Chapters. In addition to providing a summary of activities
during 2006, the Annual Report provides a list of members, the names of
the Directors on the Board with their contact information, and a financial
statement from the end of the previous year (2006).
While in Palms Springs,
exhibitors were offered the opportunity to commit to exhibiting next year
in New York City and 2009 in Washington, D.C. ITS Florida signed up for
exhibit space for both 2008 and 2009 so that we keep Florida “out there”
as a progressive place to live and work.
The 2011 ITS World Congress
and ITS America Annual Meeting and Exhibition is coming up soon. This huge
event will be held October 16-20, 2011, at the Orlando Orange County
Convention Center in Orlando and ITS Florida is already anticipating this
This article was provided by
Diana Carsey, ITS Florida. For information, please email Ms. Carsey mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
* * * *
Inside the TERL
The FDOT has a goal to
assure that only a safe and uniform ITS and traffic control system is
implemented in state of Florida. The Traffic Engineering Research Lab
(TERL) plays a part in obtaining this goal by satisfying Florida Statute
316.0745 - Uniform Signals & Devices. Below is a look Inside the TERL
at two current activities that help accomplish our goal.
The product evaluation team is
currently in evaluating 25 traffic signal and ITS devices. Several other
submittals are awaiting manufacturer qualification before device
evaluation can begin. ITS devices are being evaluated against the recently
published ITS specifications (Section 780 – 786).Outside of the devices
evaluated for the ITS-Invitation to Bid, these will be the first ITS
devices evaluated for the Approved Products List (APL).
Approved traffic control
signals and signal devices can be viewed on the FDOT Web site at www3.dot.state.fl.us/trafficcontrolproducts/.
Approved ITS devices can be
District personnel may request additional ITS devices for listing on the
ITS APL as described by information located at the link above.
There are currently 16 device
specifications under development. The Cabinet Generator Panel and
Manufacturer Quality Assurance specifications have been approved by the
TERL and will be sent to the FDOT Signals Working Group for review and
approval. There are other procedural specifications being revised, and
several new device specifications or revisions to current devices that are
also under development.
At the end of June 2007, 73
product manufacturers had successfully completed the FDOT’s APL Vendor
Quality Assurance evaluation. This included eight dynamic message sign
Before a product can be
evaluated for listing on the APL, all manufacturers submitting new product
must meet the current FDOT APL Minimum Quality Standards. This is done by
showing evidence of a successful quality control and assurance program by
satisfactorily completing the FDOT’s Quality Assurance Evaluation. The
three objectives of the qualification program are as follows:
- Improve the quality of
products listed on the FDOT’s APL.
- Redirect the
responsibility of maintaining quality standards to the
- Reduce the number of
device complaints/defect issues between FDOT and product
In the second quarter of
2007, six new manufacturers were qualified (EtherWAN Systems; Cohu Inc.,
Electronics Division; R. Hart Sales (Tri-American, Inc.); iMPath Networks;
Information Display Company; and Ledstar, Inc.).
A main tenet of a good
quality assurance/quality control program is continuous improvement. As a
way for the TERL to continuously improve, we would welcome comments
concerning any of our programs. If you have an idea on how we can improve
any of our operations at the TERL, contact Steven Bentz at (850) 921-7352
or email Steven.Bentz@dot.state.fl.us
* * * *
Next Generation 511 System Invitation to
The Invitation to Negotiate for the
information dissemination component of the Next Generation 511 System was
advertised this past February 27, 2007.
Since the advertisement hit
the streets, the FDOT has selected the team of LogicTree/IBI Group to
provide the information dissemination component. The FDOT wrapped-up the
negotiation portion of the selection process and a contract is now being
developed. Execution of the contract is expected by the end of July, with
issuance of the notice to proceed following thereafter.
The data fusion component
will be developed as a separate release of the SunGuide™ Software. It is
anticipated that Southwest Research Institute will begin development of
this component prior to the end of July. A contract amendment is currently
being developed that will allow Southwest Research Institute to begin work
on the new release.
* * * *
Your Calendars For NRITS
On the shores of the Michigan coast,
the 2007 National Rural ITS (NRITS) Conference will be held in Traverse
City, MI on October 7-10, 2007.
For more information, visit
the NRITS Web site at http://www.nritsconference.org/.
* * * *
L.K. Nandam, DTOE
Chris Birosak, ITS
FDOT District 1
PO Box 1249
Bartow, FL 33831
Peter Vega, ITS
FDOT District 2 Traffic
2250 Irene Street, MS 2815
June Coates, DTOE
FDOT District 3 Traffic Operations
Chipley, FL 32428-0607
Dong Chen, ITS
FDOT District 4 Traffic
2300 W. Commercial Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Richard Morrow, DTOE
Michael Smith, ITS
5 Traffic Operations
719 S. Woodland Blvd., MS 3-562
Debora M. Rivera, DTOE
Jesus Martinez, ITS
FDOT District 6 Traffic Operations
1000 NW 111th Avenue, MS 6203
Miami, FL 33172
Gary Thompson, DTOE
Bill Wilshire, ITS
District 7 Traffic Operations
11201 N. McKinley Drive
Florida's Turnpike Enterprise
Florida's Turnpike Enterprise
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33310-9828
State Traffic Engineer - ITS
Traffic Engineer - Systems
Deputy State Traffic Engineer - Incident
Commercial Vehicle Operations
Traffic Engineer - Operations