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Utah DOT weather responsive traveler information system.
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Utah DOT weather responsive traveler information system.
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  • Abstract:
    Over the past decade, the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Road Weather Management Program (RWMP)

    has championed the cause of improving traffic operations and safety during weather events. The program’s current

    emphasis is to encourage agencies to be more proactive in the way that they manage traffic operations during bad

    weather. Weather Responsive Traffic Management (WRTM) is a component major element of the program. WRTM

    involves the implementation of traffic advisory, control, and treatment strategies in direct response to or in anticipation

    of developing roadway and atmospheric problems that result from deteriorating or forecasted weather conditions.

    WRTM also includes using weather forecasting to provide proactive advisory and control strategies based on forecasts

    of weather conditions, and not just traffic responses to those conditions.

    In 2011, the RWMP initiated a project to collate recent developments and best practices in WRTM, identify

    improvements to the strategies, and develop implementable Concepts of Operations. As a follow-on task, three

    concepts were selected for further implementation and real-world deployment. This report documents the

    implementation of one of those concepts relating to weather responsive traveler information. This concept focused on

    an initial implementation of a citizens reporting system and was conducted in partnership with Utah DOT. This report

    documents the system design, operation, evaluation, findings and lessons learned from the implementation.

    Considering this was the first opportunity to implement a limited citizen reporting program, the results are encouraging.

    Fifty-six UDOT employees were trained, 89 of 143 road segments were covered, and 607 reports were submitted

    during the 2012/2013 winter season. Report accuracy was very high (over 99%), and they provided increased

    situational awareness for TOC meteorologists and operators. Public response to this program was quite positive.

    Lessons from this initial implementation will help UDOT further develop and move this program forward and serve as a

    valuable model for other state DOTs that seek to implement similar improvements.

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