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BQAZ Statewide Intrastate Mobility Reconnaissance Study Statewide Dialogue on Improving System Management and Operations

Background

Members of the Arizona COG/MPO Directors Association have been meeting over the last two years to discuss the impacts of growth on the state’s transportation system and the need for a better understanding about infrastructure and funding needs. This discussion led to the scoping and initiation of the Building a Quality Arizona (BQAZ) - Statewide Intrastate Mobility Reconnaissance Study. A nine-month study was launched, in March 2007, by MAG on behalf of the Arizona COG/MPO Directors Association and the Arizona DOT.  It is being conducted by DMJM Harris.

The goals of the study are to: (1) determine the need for framework studies across Arizona; (2) to provide a review of the near-term needs in transportation  infrastructure; and (3) to develop a statewide sketch planning tool for estimating travel demand between the state’s activity centers and to/from external sources

The Reconnaissance Study includes a task (Task 5) that would identify short-term transportation solutions. These solutions have been described, in the study scope of work, as a list of transportation projects for the short-term, twenty-year horizon throughout the state. Upon completion, the study findings will be provided to the Legislature and the Governor.

Role of Systems Management and Operations, and Technology Applications

The increasingly effective role played by system management and operations strategies (including relevant technology applications) in the more urbanized areas of the state have pointed to the need to include these among potential short-term solutions. The Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan regions are making significant progress in preparing each region for future operations and management through strategic application of Intelligent Transportation Systems technology and building the required communications infrastructure. Significant improvements are also being made to coordination among state and local agencies in these regions. Led by ADOT, similar efforts and technology applications are also underway across the state, but at a lower scale due to the large coverage required.

The operational improvements anticipated would include topic areas such as:  quick clearance of bottlenecks due to crashes/incidents/debris and stalled vehicles; accurate and timely information to travelers about road conditions ahead; improved coordination among key agencies; and better dissemination of traffic information through local media during major events.

The resulting benefits would include overall road safety improvements, improved system efficiency, lower user cost, and less inconvenience to the traveling public.

Goal

The goal of this statewide dialogue is to recommend a suite of potential strategies and relevant technologies, that could be implemented in the short-term, to improve statewide transportation management and operations.  These recommendations will be included in the final report of the ongoing Statewide Instrastate Mobility Reconnaissance Study.

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Senior Program Manager – ITS and Safety:
Sarath Joshua
Transportation