Demonstrate the Value Proposition of Integrated Corridor Management by Monetizing its Benefits, Such as Improved Travel Time Reliability and Predictability.

A Primer was Developed to Assist Agencies in Gaining Support from Stakeholders to Deploy ICM Strategies.

Date Posted

Build Smart, Build Steady: Winning Strategies for Building Integrated Corridor Management Over Time

Summary Information

Transportation professionals make operational decisions on major corridors to improve traffic flow and mobility during sudden traffic events. This goal may be accomplished with the use of Integrated Corridor Management (ICM), a method used to actively monitor and mitigate traffic congestion to improve overall system performance. The ICM concept is best suited for corridors with multiple parallel facilities, stakeholders, and modes that experience severe irregular congestion resulting from high travel demand, incidents, and severe weather. The objective of this study was to prepare a primer developed for the Federal Highway Administration to provide guidance to agencies on how to (1) Develop a step-by-step ICM deployment and supporting Decision Support Systems (2) Adapt the ICM deployment over time, and (3) Achieve financial sustainability for ICM in the long run. The primer also leverages existing ICM guidance and suggests resources to stakeholders who are ready to establish ICM.

  • Below are the lessons learned from this study:
    Clearly demonstrate the benefits of ICM by focusing on its impacts on travel time reliability and travel time predictability. Since costs pile up quickly, it is difficult to show the cost effectiveness of the system. By modeling improvements in traffic performance measures, monetary benefits such as travel time reliability and predictability can be estimated.
  • Focus on the conditions that make it obvious that ICM has value. It may be difficult to generate momentum for ICM deployment if it is not clear to the public or to key stakeholders of where ICM can make a difference. Build the case where ICM is strongest such as major incidents, special events, severe weather.
  • Take into consideration that the benefits are more apparent when a corridor is under challenging conditions. While the impact of Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) on day-to-day predictable traffic patterns, such as peak hour traffic, may be unremarkable, its deployment is more likely to achieve greater impacts during high surges or drops in travel demand. These conditions may arise during major traffic incidents, inclement weather, or the start of the school year in September. Stakeholders, the public, and decision makers, should recognize that its highest value is in these challenging situations.
  • Suggest to ICM stakeholders that corridors must be managed as a whole under all types of traffic conditions. As many stakeholders are not directly responsible for corridor performance, they may be primarily interested in their individual perspectives and priorities rather than the overall performance of the corridor. It is important to convey the notion that everyone is in the same economic boat and must work together to keep the region/corridor competitive.
  • Broaden ICM coalition to include reluctant stakeholders and strengthen trust in the system. To promote the utilization of ICM, it is important to engage stakeholders by presenting scenarios in which the management system benefits everyone. Events in which both main arterials and local roads are positively affected are a prime example. A large number of organizations with a deep trust in the system is essential to generate forward momentum towards ICM adoption. It is suggested to have a dedicated organization to take ownership of ICM and ensure its success.
  • Consider the rising cost of maintaining corridor management systems over time. As costs increase, gas tax revenues typically decline, leading to financial and operational shortfalls. To make up for these shortfalls, general revenues must be utilized, which are subject to the constraints of the political system.
  • Educate the public on why ICM matters to prevent public indifference. Convincing the public of the benefits of ICM may be challenging. To address this, resources and education must be made available to the public to explain why the technology is necessary and how it can be maintained or enhanced. Explaining to the press strategies on how traffic measures such as travel time are improved (e.g., Reducing delays) by ICM can help to combat any indifference.