San Antonio's Medical Center Corridor: Lessons Learned From The Metropolitan Model Deployment Initiative
This report is one in a series that documents lessons learned from the US DOT Model Deployment Initiatives program. It reviews one component of the San Antonio MDI - the integration of a highly successful freeway management system with a newly deployed arterial system.
The San Antonio Medical Center Corridor is approximately 5.4 miles long by 1.2 miles wide. Travelers often use this corridor when there is a disruption of traffic flow on the nearby Interstate Highways 10 and 410 (I-10 and I-410).
The goal of this implementation was to develop more effective, coordinated management of roadway incidents and their associated delays. The project would integrate the new arterial management system along the corridor's Fredericksburg Road with preexisting freeway management system on a 5.4 mile section of I-10 and I-410. The arterial management system would consist of 10 loop stations, three camera systems, nine dynamic message signs, and a new arterial operations work station. Transportation staffs also created incident response signal plans to control the increased flow of traffic caused by an incident.
The lessons concern the benefits of integrated ITS systems and the related institutional issues that must be overcome to achieve effective integration across involved transportation agencies.
The integration of ITS often requires the cooperation, if not the merging, of organizations representing different operating philosophies, priorities, budgets, and constituents.
- Challenge local agencies to think regionally. Each agency needs to come together and essentially “remove their stripes.” They must recognize that the traveler is not concerned about lines on the map, but about moving quickly, safely, and efficiently through the network. Consequently, regional transportation officials must also focus on this regional end result.
- Improve cooperation through the adoption of a peer-to-peer permissive operating philosophy. Under this philosophy, management decisions may be generated regionally, but continue to be instituted locally. For example, in San Antonio, incident response signal plans continue to be implemented by the City of San Antonio.
- Secure initial cooperation by offering unique incentives. For example, the City of San Antonio was offered the opportunity to co-locate their Medical Center Corridor arterial management center within the Texas Department of Transportation's TransGuide Center.