- a freeway (in black) with ramp metering lights
- city arterial streets (in blue) with traffic signals at the intersections
- bus service on the arterials
- rail transit (in red) with parking at the station
Traditionally, individual transportation elements were managed separately (such as adjusting freeway ramp metering). While this can produce isolated improvements, it does not consider the unused capacity of other corridor elements or the potential negative effects the change could have. For example, directing traffic off the freeway to circumvent an accident could flood arterial streets with traffic they cannot absorb, thus creating additional congestion.
- take all elements in a corridor into account
- consider the capabilities and interdependencies of all elements
- more efficiently use the corridor's existing capacities, making transportation investments go farther
- coordinate and manage the corridor's elements as an integrated system
This is the purpose of Integrated Corridor Management and the goal of the Connected Corridors program.
Redefining the "System"
Including both institutional and technical dimensions allows us to broaden the definition of an ICM "system." Not simply a piece of technology, the system is considered a total entity made up of people, organizations, hardware, and software, as illustrated below. All these components must work together to achieve effective Integrated Corridor Management.