Identifying User Needs

Reviewing the corridor's operations provided a more complete picture of its transportation networks and management systems, but it was also essential to meet with stakeholders to identify, prioritize, and agree on what users would need from the I-210 pilot. The Connected Corridors team held meetings and workshops with:

  • Cities along the corridor, LACDPW, Metro, Caltrans D7, and Caltrans Headquarters
  • First responders, including the California Highway Patrol and the LA County Coroner’s office
  • Transit providers, including Foothill Transit, Metro Bus, Metro Rail, and Pasadena Transit
  • San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments
  • Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

The team also contacted the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the Dallas Area Regional Transportation Authority (DART), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to understand their experience developing and deploying Integrated Corridor Management systems on the I-15 freeway north of San Diego and the US-75 freeway north of Dallas. Additional technical input was sought from various consulting firms working with Intelligent Transportation Systems in the Los Angeles region.

The user needs identified through the meetings and the operational review will govern the development of the prototype ICM system for the I-210 corridor.  They will be the basis for developing specific system requirements at a later stage of the project.

The following table lists high-level user needs for the ICM system. A detailed description of user needs, plus categories of system users, can be found in the Concept of Operations.

User Need
System Monitoring
Collect and Process Multimodal Data Characterizing Corridor Operational Performance The ICM system needs to collect, on a real-time or near real-time basis, data characterizing the operational performance of roadways, transit systems, parking facilities, and any other relevant transportation elements within the corridor being managed.  This information will be used to identify whether incidents or events are having an impact on corridor operations and warrant the evaluation of alternate management strategies.  Satisfying this need not only implies identifying which data to collect and collecting the data, but also determining how to validate and filter data from each potential source, as well as developing suitable processing algorithms to reliably derive the information sought.
Collect and Process Multimodal Corridor Travel Demand Data The ICM system needs to collect data characterizing the demand for travel along the I-210 corridor.  At the core of the system, this includes collecting data characterizing the movement of automobiles, buses, and trucks, as well as possibly individuals, along the freeways and key arterials in the corridor.  Information about freight movement, as well as cyclists and pedestrian flows, should also be collected if deemed relevant to the corridor management effort.
Monitor Asset Availability Agency operators need to monitor the status of all devices and facilities that may be used to control traffic, implement traffic management strategies, or disseminate information to the traveling public on a real-time basis.  This means monitoring not only which devices are operational or down for maintenance, but also which operating devices may not be used because of operational constraints.  It also includes monitoring available roadway capacity and available parking, and tracking the location of transit vehicles.
Decision Support
Decision-making Assistance The ICM system should indicate when an operational change is recommended, which systems/control devices should be modified to implement the desired change, and how these systems or devices should be modified.  This includes considering both capacity and demand management strategies, where feasible.
Operational Forecast Capability To assist with the selection of efficient corridor management plans, the ICM system needs to be able to forecast the effects of proposed actions, including a no action option, on traffic flow performance, transit system performance, and/or travel demand over near-term intervals.
Strategy Effectiveness Assessment Before implementing a recommended strategy, system operators should be able to assess the potential impacts of the strategy on corridor operations.  Similarly, following the implementation of an approved response strategy, systems operators must to be able to determine if the implemented strategy is having the intended effect.  This implies identifying key performance metrics to use to conduct the assessments, developing processes to track changes in system performance over time, and providing suitable reporting capabilities.  This also implies providing recommended courses of action based on the results of the strategy effectiveness assessment.
Control Capabilities
Multi-Agency Coordination Support Agencies participating in the I-210 Pilot system need to coordinate how they respond to incidents or events to avoid situations in which two agencies would implement incompatible local response strategies.  This means establishing appropriate communication capabilities and a joint operational framework among participating agencies.
Automated Incident Response Capability To the extent possible and allowed, the ICM system should have the capability to operate in a fully automated mode, without user intervention, during agreed-upon periods or when specific sets of circumstances are met.
Manual Control Capability Under specific sets of circumstances, system users should have the ability to change one or more components of a response plan manually to address corridor operational issues not adequately captured by the ICM system.  This includes an ability to alter traffic control directives and messages disseminated by information devices.
Preferred Control Setup Options System users should have the capability to identify preferred control actions that the ICM system should consider first when developing responses to specific types of incidents or events.  An example would be the ability to define, as a first response strategy, specific detours or traffic signal control plans.
Device Modification and Addition Capability The system should allow authorized users to incorporate additional locations and devices into the control environment, as well as to modify or update existing control locations and/or devices.
Information Visualization To facilitate decision-making activities, information characterizing system operations should be provided to system operators in a format that is easy to read and interpret, such as using maps, tables, color-coded displays, etc.
Information Dissemination
Provision of Real-Time, Multi-Modal Information to System Operators All authorized users should receive, to the extent of their availability, real-time data enabling them to manage their transportation network.  This may include observed link speeds, estimated queue sizes, project flows, and various other metrics identified as relevant by individual system users.  Providing this data implies not only operating a suitable information exchange network, but also managing restrictions on certain access, features, and/or system controls that may be imposed on certain data feeds.  This also includes adding new information or data to the system on a regular basis, such as expanded transit service or the opening of new light-rail lines.
Provision of Real-Time, Multi-Modal Information to End Users To help motorists, transit riders, and other travelers make informed decisions, particularly during incidents and events, the ICM system should provide real-time or near real-time information about travel conditions within the corridor to all corridor travelers.  This can be done through existing 511 and roadside information systems, and/or the development of new mobile applications.
Data Management
Historical Data Archiving The data collected and information generated by the ICM system during its daily operations needs to be stored to support future offline analyses and corridor evaluations, as well as corridor modeling activities.  Satisfying this need implies setting up one or more databases for storing historical data, determining the criteria governing which data will be stored and for how long, defining the protocols for archiving data, and defining the protocols for accessing and managing the database.  Data output from the system should further be in a format consistent with the regional ITS architecture and be able to be utilized by other mainstream software systems.
System Management and Maintenance
ICM System Management Administrative functions need to be developed to enable authorized users to support the management of user accounts, system configurations, and system security.
System Maintenance The ICM system should have the capability to provide system diagnostics and to alert relevant authorized users of any malfunctions or inoperable devices.  Authorized users should be able to identify the specific devices needing maintenance, as well as the locations of these devices.  The ICM system should also be able to perform self-diagnostic checks to assess maintenance needs and recommend maintenance actions.
Training Support Adequate documentation must be available to support system operations and maintenance.  Adequate training must also be provided when needed.