Experience implementing an Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) System in San Diego.
San Diego I-15 Demonstration Integrated Corridor Management System: PATH Report on Stage 3: Site Demonstration and Evaluation
As part of a Federal initiative to advance the state of practice of Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) worked with local agencies to plan, develop, implement, and operate an ICM system on the I-15 corridor. The overall goal was to coordinate multi-agency and multi-modal operations, and maximize system capacity. Central to the deployment was a Decision Support System (DSS) designed to coordinate congestion response strategies and leverage use of traveler information systems, freeway ramp metering, arterial signal coordination, managed lanes, and incident management systems across jurisdictional boundaries.
Systems engineering was used to facilitate the deployment. Project documentation developed by SANDAG included a concept of operations (Conopts), project management plan (PMP), systems engineering management plan (SEMP), system requirements specification (SRS), system design documents (SDD), and testing documentation. At the conclusion of the project researchers highlighted lessons learned to assist other cities across the United States considering similar projects.
- Project managers will need to understand transportation policy, planning, local context, information technology, systems engineering, telecommunications, and meeting dynamics. A dual project management mechanism can work exceptionally well as it may be difficult to find all the attributes required in one person.
- When initiating discussions about the potential deployment of an ICM system, look to include all potential stakeholders early in the process. While some agencies and organizations may choose not to participate, all should at least be invited to the early discussions.
- Stakeholders should be given the ability to decide what their involvement will be. Even if some agencies or organizations choose not to participate at the beginning, they should be kept informed about the decisions being made, as initially reluctant agencies can prove to be strong participants later on.
- The support of executive leaders is essential in the success of the project and particularly valuable if one or more of those executive leaders becomes a champion for the project.
- Transportation planners and modelers, along with operations personnel, should be involved early in the discussions as they can provide valuable input into the selection of relevant performance measures, and can help understand how to best track system performance against established goals. Maintaining regular communication with partner agencies throughout a project is critical, as continuous information exchange fosters understanding and perspective.
- Legal agreements, such as a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) generally need to be established between agencies to enable them to support each other.
Systems engineering process
- The systems engineering process can be challenging at first, but provides an essential technical platform for building a robust design.
- Developing a clear Conopts early in the project life cycle allows stakeholders to develop a clear view of why an ICM system is needed, what the proposed system intends to do, and how they may be involved in the system’s operations.
System design and development
- Before proceeding with the development of an ICM system, it is essential that the stakeholders be able to describe why the proposed system is needed and what the goals of the system are.
- Significant effort is often required to communicate proposed system functions and operations to project stakeholders. Achieving consensus on system requirements may take significantly longer than initially anticipated due to the variety of needs to be addressed across all participating agencies.
- Post-deployment operations and maintenance should be kept in mind when designing an ICM system. This includes identifying funding sources in advance, and establishing regional agreements and policies for operations and maintenance. Significant resources are required at the local agency level to integrate corridor management into daily operations.
System operations and maintenance
- Operations and maintenance personnel should be adequately trained prior to the launch of an ICM system.
- Team meetings should be conducted regularly to continually improve processes and procedures as the operations of an ICM system matures.
- An Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation (AMS) evaluation framework provides corridor managers with a long-term capability to continually improve the implementation of ICM strategies based on experience.
Outreach and marketing
- Getting marketing involved early is key to identifying the audience and developing a consistent message.