Institutional Criteria

A corridor—particularly a congested urban corridor—commonly passes through a mosaic of jurisdictions, communities, and areas of responsibility.  Knowing who the corridor stakeholders are and understanding their needs, experiences, levels of interest, and working relationships is a vital part of the ICM process, including site selection.

Identifying Stakeholders

One of the first steps in choosing a site is to identify the parties who might have an interest in what happens along the corridor. Typical stakeholders include:

State Department of Transportation
As the owner/operator of the freeway system, the State DOT is a major partner in the corridor ICM program. In California, for example, the State DOT (Caltrans) has twelve districts. Each district has its own director and staff, and is responsible for projects, programs, maintenance, operations, public communications, etc. within the district. The local Caltrans districts are also major partners in the planning, development, and implementation of ICM projects.
Federal Partners
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are examples of Federal agencies that may be involved in ICM projects particularly because of funding or grant oversight/administration responsibilities. Currently, the DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is overseeing a large ICM Initiative with pilot projects in San Diego (I-15) and Dallas (US 75).
Regional Rail, Bus, Transit Agencies, Water Transit
The transit agencies in the corridor are important stakeholders, and are responsible for transit operations, as well as scheduling, routing, and maintenance.
Other Transportation Related Agencies
The Regional Transportation Planning Agency, Regional Transportation/Traffic Management Center, Congestion Management Agency, County Transportation Commission, Air Quality District, 511 (rideshare) agency, etc. are critical partners in the planning and implementation of any ICM project. Depending upon the corridor, these agencies have more or less authority over certain aspects of the transportation system, such as the funding.
First Responders
Police, fire, ambulance, emergency dispatch, freeway service patrol, and other emergency agencies are critical to the incident management component of the corridor operations. In California, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the country coroner are also key responders. All these agencies are important stakeholders.
Community/Interest Groups
Community groups, neighborhood associations, chambers of commerce, historic preservation societies, and other organizations may have a keen interest in the local impact of corridor operations. The engagement and participation of these stakeholders is also important.
Industry Partners
Industry partners, such as application developers and system integrators, have expertise in the hardware and software used along the corridor for traffic monitoring and contol. Their input is vital for understanding how the systems in various jurisdictions can work together.

A Stakeholder Example

In Los Angeles, for example, the transportation agency landscape is complex. Caltrans District 7 covers Los Angeles and Ventura counties; the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO); and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is the Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA), Congestion Management Agency (CMA), County Transportation Commission (CTC), and bus/light rail operator. Adding to the complexity are the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and Metrolink (the commuter rail operator).

Questions to Ask

An ICM project is a collaborative undertaking, and the ability of diverse stakeholders to work together and make decisions is key to its success. Here are some institutional questions to consider when exploring the viability of a project:

Is there interest/cooperation from the local state DOT district director and staff? The engagement of the local state DOT district is essential. The project cannot realistically go forward without it.
How interested are the regional agencies? Regional agencies are vital contributors to the planning and implementation of an ICM project.
Are the local jurisdictions along the corridor supportive? The local jurisdictions typically maintain and control the signal timing on arterials along the corridor, key elements in an ICM project.
What is the transit operators' level of interest? Transit services are critical if travelers are to shift their travel modes.
Is there a Traffic Management Center (TMC), and what is its level of interest? What technology are they using? The TMC is the focal point for monitoring data and actuating control strategies along the corridor. Advanced technology and integration with other systems is preferred.
Are the corridor agencies willing partners? Have they worked together on other projects, and are any agreements already in place? Previous or current collaboration, such as any existing MOUs (memorandum of understanding), can indicate productive working relationships among stakeholders.
Are there engaged community or interest groups along the corridor? The concerns and involvement of local groups can impact the project in important ways.
Are there existing demand management programs or incentives? These could be public programs, such as 511, or private programs.
Has a Corridor System Management Plan (CSMP) been completed? A CSMP—providing a comprehensive analysis of corridor performance, concerns, and improvement strategies—can be a valuable source of information for an ICM project.
Is there outside funding for implementation and/or operations and maintenance? Leveraged funding sources, such as local transportation sales tax funds, help make an ICM project a reality.