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2022 N A T I O N A L C O O P E R A T I V E H I G H W A Y R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M NCHRP RESEARCH REPORT 981 Guidelines for Quantifying Benefits of Traffic Incident Management Strategies Vaishali Shah Greg Hatcher Elizabeth Greer Janet Fraser Noblis, Inc. Reston, VA Mark Franz Kaveh Sadabadi Center for Advanced Transportation Technology at the University of Maryland College Park, MD Subscriber Categories Operations and Traffic Management â¢ Planning and Forecasting â¢ Safety and Human Factors Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration
NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed, and implementable research is the most effective way to solve many problems facing state departments of transportation (DOTs) administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local or regional interest and can best be studied by state DOTs individually or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transporta- tion results in increasingly complex problems of wide interest to high- way authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. Recognizing this need, the leadership of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in 1962 ini- tiated an objective national highway research program using modern scientific techniquesâthe National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). NCHRP is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of AASHTO and receives the full cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), United States Department of Transportation, under Agree- ment No. 693JJ31950003. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was requested by AASHTO to administer the research program because of TRBâs recognized objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. TRB is uniquely suited for this purpose for many reasons: TRB maintains an extensive com- mittee structure from which authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; TRB possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, univer- sities, and industry; TRBâs relationship to the National Academies is an insurance of objectivity; and TRB maintains a full-time staff of special- ists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of research directly to those in a position to use them. The program is developed on the basis of research needs iden- tified by chief administrators and other staff of the highway and transportation departments, by committees of AASHTO, and by the FHWA. Topics of the highest merit are selected by the AASHTO Special Committee on Research and Innovation (R&I), and each year R&Iâs recommendations are proposed to the AASHTO Board of Direc- tors and the National Academies. Research projects to address these topics are defined by NCHRP, and qualified research agencies are selected from submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Academies and TRB. The needs for highway research are many, and NCHRP can make significant contributions to solving highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement, rather than to substitute for or duplicate, other highway research programs. Published research reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to https://www.mytrb.org/MyTRB/Store/default.aspx Printed in the United States of America NCHRP RESEARCH REPORT 981 Project 03-108 ISSN 2572-3766 (Print) ISSN 2572-3774 (Online) ISBN 978-0-309-09416-0 Library of Congress Control Number 2021950174 Â© 2022 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FTA, GHSA, NHTSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The research report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; the FHWA; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names or logos appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report.
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence-based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of transportation. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 8,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP RESEARCH REPORT 981 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Waseem Dekelbab, Associate Program Manager, National Cooperative Highway Research Program David Jared, Senior Program Officer Clara Schmetter, Senior Program Assistant Natalie Barnes, Director of Publications Heather DiAngelis, Associate Director of Publications NCHRP PROJECT 03-108 PANEL Field of TrafficâArea of Operations and Control Lisa Vieth, Missouri Department of Transportation, Jefferson City, MO (Chair) Yupo Chan, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Little Rock, AR Steven Cyra, HNTB Corporation, Milwaukee, WI Sreenath Reddy Gangula, Washington State Department of Transportation, Olympia, WA Ismael Garza, Nevada Department of Transportation, Carson City, NV David Graham, Gannett Fleming, Inc., Raleigh, NC Sean M. Hill, Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, New Hope, PA Timothy R. Huibregtse, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Milwaukee, WI Jennifer L. Portanova, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Raleigh, NC Jawad N. Paracha, FHWA Liaison Richard A. Cunard, TRB Liaison
NCHRP Research Report 981 provides guidelines for organizations using traffic incident management (TIM) on quantifying the benefits of TIM programs. The findings of this report suggest that there are numerous ways in which TIM program benefits may be quantified and that opportunities to quantify benefits exist for programs at any level of maturity and data collection. Ensuring a coordinated response to highway crashes and other incidents is vital to protecting public safety, keeping traffic moving, and reducing environmental impacts. TIM has advanced in recent years to become a critical part of transportation operations, as well as a significant budget expenditure. Empirical measures and observations show that TIM improves detection, coordination, response and clearance times while mitigating responder risk exposure. Quantifying the benefits from these improvements, however, has been limited by lack of uniformity in measurement, access to data, and clarity in analysis methods. Moreover, many agencies struggle with how best to communicate the benefits to ensure that TIM programs are adequately funded at the national, state, and local level. Under NCHRP Project 03-108, âGuidance on Quantifying Benefits of TIM Strategies,â Noblis, Inc. reviewed existing TIM evaluation methods and cataloged definitions, classifi- cations, and parameters frequently used in evaluations. Next, it summarized stakeholder identification and engagement activities, considering the effects of incidents on freeway facilities in different lane closure scenarios. The research team then examined commonalities and differences among TIM benefits estimations methods to outline what is reasonable for accurate TIM program assessment under various data scenarios. Finally, they evaluated TIM benefit estimation tools and developed a method to help quantify delay, emissions, and fuel consumption benefits of TIM programs. The guidelines are accompanied by a slide presentation that summarizes the project and an implementation plan. NCHRP Web-Only Document 301: Development of Guidelines for Quantifying Benefits of Traffic Incident Management Strategies, which details the research activities and methods, is also available. These materials are available on the TRB website and can be found by searching for NCHRP Research Report 981. F O R E W O R D By David Jared Staff Officer Transportation Research Board
1 Chapter 1 Demonstrating the Value of Traffic Incident Management 1 Introduction 1 Purpose 3 Who Should Use the Guide 3 How This Guide Is Organized 3 Overview of the Benefits Analysis Process 6 Chapter 2 The Language of Traffic Incident Management 6 What Are Incidents? How Are They Classified? 8 What Is the TIM Timeline, and What Are Core TIM Performance Measures? 12 What Are Common TIM Activities? 14 What Are TIM Outcomes? 16 How to Quantify TIM Outcomes? 24 How to Monetize TIM Outcomes? 25 Chapter 3 TIM Analysis Step 1âSpecify Analysis Purpose 25 Define the Problem 26 Develop Analysis Goals and Specify TIM Outcomes to Capture 26 Define Geographic and Temporal Focus 27 Define Intended Use 28 Define Resource Availability 29 Chapter 4 TIM Analysis Step 2âPlanning the TIM Analysis 29 Select, Modify, or Develop Analysis Methods 30 Refine Geographic Sectioning and Time Period for Analysis 33 Inventory and Examine Data Sets Available 37 Build an Analysis Schedule 38 Chapter 5 TIM Analysis Step 3âPerform the TIM Analysis 38 Keep Management Engaged and Informed 38 Exercise Judgment and Document Assumptions 39 Actively Manage Deviations in Cost, Schedule, and Analysis 39 Conduct âSanity Checksâ at Each Step of Analysis 39 Leverage Opportunities for Data Processing Automation 39 Review Both Aggregate and Disaggregate Results 39 Capture Lessons Learned 40 Create a Comprehensive Archive 41 Chapter 6 TIM Analysis Step 4âReport and Communicate Results 41 Craft Communications to Target Specific Audiences 41 Put Benefits into Context to Enhance Understandability 42 Using Data Visualizations to Communicate Results C O N T E N T S
43 Appendix A Common TIM Rules of Thumb 50 Appendix B Quick-Sketch Method to Estimate TIM Program Benefits 52 Appendix C Reduction in Available Capacity from Incidents 54 Appendix D Application and Assessment of FHWA TIM Benefit-Cost Tool 66 Appendix E Transforming Quantified to Monetized Benefits 73 Bibliography 78 Acronyms and Abbreviations Note: Photographs, figures, and tables in this report may have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.