NCSITE’s First Joint Meeting with ITS Carolinas

The NIMG_8127CSITE Signal Systems and ITS user groups hosted a joint half-day event with ITS Carolinas at N.C. State’s Hunt Library on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. The event drew over 70 people in attendance and was broken into a general morning session and two tracks in the afternoon focused on freeway and arterial operations.  Jennifer Portanova, NCDOT State Systems Engineer in the Central Office System Timing (COST) section, kicked off the joint meeting discussing “Integrated Corridor Management” activities across North Carolina.  She presented several low-cost ICM projects under development and discussed how the use of signal system timing (arterial management) helped to manage unplanned congestion on freeways.  Finishing the general session, vendors from Bentley Systems, Inc. and Byers were provided time to speak on “Alternatives to Fiber Management”.  Both vendors provided highlights of their respective software developed for fiber management. They each presented on how their software can maintain details useful for DOT’s and municipalities to manager fiber implementations.

The two afternoon tracks on freeways and arterials allowed time for two presentations each.  This format worked well for many participants, with several moving between the tracks after the first presentations.  In the arterials track, Stacie Phillips and Bastian Schroeder with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. and Kittelson and Associates, Inc., respectively, presented on the topic of “Blue Tooth/High Resolution Data and Arterial Reliability”.  This presentation provided a high-level overview of ways data from probes (such as cell phones) and the signal controller (via detection) can be used to assist engineers with measuring and refining arterial operations.  This presentation was followed by a presentation from Shannon Warchol with the Institute for Transportation Research and Education and Tom Agnew of the NCDOT COST section.  Shannon’s presentation on Diverging Diamond Interchanges focused on findings from field implementation of strategies tested as part of NCHRP 3-113 at five DDI’s across the nation to improve signal timing at the DDI. Tom presented his experiences with a new DDI in Asheville.

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In the freeways track, Battle Whitley, Division Maintenance engineer, with NCDOT presented on the ramp metering project along I-540 in Wake County. The presentation reviewed the ramp meter feasibility study conducted for Division 5 and the development of the I-5710 project to install ramp meters on I-540 in Wake County. Battle also discussed ramp meter operation, anticipated design elements, and outlined potential pitfalls that are being considered for mitigation during project implementation. Dr. Nagui Rouphail with the Institute for Transportation Research and Education presented on the topic of how reliability, being one cornerstone of the MAP21 performance measures, has now been incorporated in the 6th Edition of the HCM. This version is to be released later this year.  His presentation highlighted how reliability is predicted for freeway facilities in this latest HCM.

The event was well received by all participants and provided a great opportunity for collaboration. NCSITE and ITS Carolinas look forward to more joint meetings in the years ahead!