Hampton Roads - Virginia Department of Transportation

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Hampton Roads - Virginia Department of Transportation

Hampton Roads Transportation Operations Center

2008 ANNUAL REPORT

2008 was an exciting and successful year for the Hampton Roads Transportation Operations Center

(TOC). Most significantly, VDOT completed the final phase of the Hampton Roads Traffic Management

System (HRTMS); installing 71 cameras, 36 roadway detectors, and 22 changeable message signs. The

project completion extended the TOC service area on I-64 further northwest—providing monitoring

and response coverage for 113 total miles of interstate.

Among other key changes and accomplishments over

the past year, our name changed from the Hampton

Roads Traffic Management Center to the Hampton

Roads Transportation Operations Center. This name

change resulted from an expansion of the TOC’s role in

transportation operations and a more focused role in

emergency response. We also conducted a hurricane

preparedness exercise, and created and filled key

positions, including a new Incident Management

Coordinator. We adopted new procedures that improved

the health and safety of our staff, provided thousands of

hours of training instruction to employees, and

continued to reduce the average response time to assist

during freeway incidents.

The TOC’s expanded operations and achievements in

2008 represent VDOT’s unwavering mission to provide

superior service to motorists. Since assuming the role of

TOC Facility Manager last year, I witness daily the

commitment of our entire staff to this mission. I hope

you will enjoy reading about our past year’s work and

the positive impacts we made, and will continue to

make in Hampton Roads.

Sincerely,

Stephen Boyce

Facility Manager

Table of Contents

2 HRTOC 2008 Performance Highlights

3 Safety

4 IT, Fleet, and Inventory Management

5 Motorist Information

7 Incident Response

11 Field Equipment Maintenance

13 Know Before You Go

1


HRTOC 2008 Performance Highlights

The Hampton Roads Transportation

Operations Center (HRTOC) consists of

two groups (Maintenance and

Operations) and ten departments

(Administration, Maintenance,

Information Technology, Safety

Service Patrol, Control Room, Fleet

Management, Inventory Management,

Training, Bridge Tunnel Operations,

and Engineering Support). The

departments work together to achieve

fewer crashes and secondary crashes,

decreased incident times, enhanced

traveler information, and timely

assistance to motorists.

2008 Recaps

• The Safety Service Patrol’s average

response time to a vehicle crash

was 8.4 minutes.

• The Safety Service Patrol’s average

clearance time of a vehicle crash

was 37.5 minutes.

• Control Room Operators responded

to a daily average of 123.8

disabled vehicle incidents.

• There was a 23% increase—over

71,556 events logged—in total

Control Room responses compared

to 2007.

• 57% of all events were detected by

the Safety Service Patrol; 24% by

Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV)

cameras.

• The Safety Service Patrol drove

2,886,775 miles, assisted 53,323

motorists, and were first

responders to 41,100 incidents.

• The TOC Maintenance Department

completed 4,895 work orders,

more than 3,000 of which were for

facility or field device needs, with

an average time of 5.14 hours from

response to completion.

• Each new employee received over

135 training hours from the

Training Department.

• The Training Department

completed 100% of all annual

safety training to TOC employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I have to pay for Safety Service Patrol assistance?

A: The Safety Service Patrol program is a free service provided by VDOT.

Q: Are there other Transportation Operations Centers in the Commonwealth?

A: VDOT operates TOCs in Hampton Roads as well as Northern Virginia, Richmond, Staunton and Salem.

Q: Does the TOC use traffic cameras to record events and accidents?

A: The cameras are specifically used to detect incidents; we do not record or archive video of traffic events.

Q: How do I arrange a tour of the HRTOC?

A: We are always eager to share the TOC with civic, educational or service groups. Call 757-424-9903 or e-mail hamptonroadsinfo@VDOT.Virginia.gov to arrange a tour.

Q: Is there more to the TOC than traffic management?

A: The TOC goals are to reduce traffic congestion, as well as to improve traveler safety and provide up-to-date, reliable motorist information.

This past year, in partnership with the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Planning Organization, the TOC led the Regional Concept of Transportation Operations (RCTO). The purpose of the

RCTO is to develop collaborative solutions for regional highway incident management challenges.

We also participated in the “Are you Virginia’s next traffic fatality?” statewide campaign focusing on safe driving habits. We are proud to say that there was a 27% reduction in statewide

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highway fatalities in 2008, partly due to the campaign. We also participated in the annual statewide hurricane preparedness exercise, based on the plan for responding to a catastrophic

event, such as a hurricane or homeland security threat.


Safety

MAINTAINING SAFETY-ORIENTED AND WELL-TRAINED STAFF

Key Accomplishments in 2008:

• Developed the Bridge Tunnel Operations Training Manual, Bridge

Tunnel Emergency Contact List, and the Health and Safety Action Plan

• Developed Leadership and Accident Investigation Training for all

supervisory personnel

• Successfully maintained regulatory safety compliance

• Participated in hurricane preparedness exercise

Training and Safety

The TOC has always focused on

training to ensure employees are

equipped with the skills and

knowledge required to safely and

efficiently perform their duties. The

Training Department offers formal

training programs, certifications and

structured classes. The Health and

Safety Manager ensures all employees

are equipped to perform their jobs in a

safe and efficient manner.

In 2008, the Training Department

provided over 9,000 training hours—

more than 53 training hours, on

average, per employee. Because the

training is specific to transportation

operations, all manuals and lesson

plans were developed specifically for

TOC personnel.

The HRTOC Training Department

offers formal training programs,

certifications, and structured classes.

The HRTOC also hired a Health and

Safety Manager in 2008 to prepare a

statewide Health and Safety Action

Plan to address TOC operational

safety issues. The statewide plan was

localized for the Hampton Roads TOC

and implemented by the Training

Department.

By creating a culture of safety, the

TOC helped reduce the number of

Safety Service Patrol accidents in

2008, which resulted in saving time

and money.

2008 Total Staff Hours of Training

Executed, Quarterly

3,215

1,937

2,338

1,922

Staff Hours

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

Accidents per 100K

Miles Driven

2007 and 2008 Ratio of Accidents per

100,000 Miles Driven, Quarterly

2.15

1.8

1.57

1.23

.91

.69

.63

.29

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

2007

2008

3


IT, Fleet, and Inventory Management

KEEPING THE HAMPTON ROADS TOC MOVING

Key Accomplishments in 2008:

• Replaced TOC network equipment to allow integration with VITA

• Enhanced the Employee Training and Information Program (eTIP)

• Completed the Information Technology Manual

• Replaced nine vehicles and serviced dozens of vehicles to maintain

Safety Service Patrol operations

IT, Fleet, and Inventory

Maintenance

The TOC employs 176 full-time

personnel, all requiring access to

telephones and computer systems.

The IT Department, which procures,

installs and maintains all equipment

and software for the TOC, executed

hundreds of work orders in 2008.

Work ranged from performing simple

repairs on malfunctioning systems to

replacing network equipment for

integration with the Virginia

Information Technology Agency

(VITA).

Service Patrol, which drove nearly

three million miles last year alone rely

heavily on their vehicles. In 2008, the

Fleet Maintenance Department

maintained a high-level of available

vehicles through effective preventative

and corrective maintenance measures,

and also replaced nine vehicles for the

Safety Service Patrol to continue

successful operations.

89 of the 176 TOC staffers require

vehicles to perform their on-the-job

duties.

All TOC employees require an

inventory of goods to perform their

job duties. Over half also depend on

safe and reliable vehicles for traveling

the interstate. In particular, the Safety

2008 IT Tasks Completed

2008 Vehicle Availability

Routine

Project

Preventative

Demand*

Corrective

1

11

110

287

521

% of Availability

84.8%

97.9%

99.7%

Number of Tasks Completed by IT

SSP Maintenance Pool*

*Demand refers to an urgent request

*Pool vehicles are general use vehicles provided for local travel by HRTOC Management.

4


Motorist Information

PROVIDING CRITICAL DATA TO HAMPTON ROADS MOTORISTS

Key Accomplishments in 2008:

• Implemented VaTraffic, which replaced the outdated VOIS system and integrated the HRTOC with other responders

• Participated in VDOT Highway Safety Challenge through messaging and sign strategies

• Expanded and enhanced the HRTOC Control Room software (DYNAC ATMS) for improved operational reporting

• Displayed ozone warning and AMBER Alert messages on changeable message signs to promote public health and

support law enforcement

Service Coverage

The ultimate purpose of the HRTOC is

to assist travelers in reaching their

destination safely and quickly. A key

element in fulfilling this purpose is to

provide motorists with timely,

accurate information on roadway

conditions through the use of

sophisticated traffic management and

communications equipment.

I-64

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

The interim Hampton Roads Traffic

Management System (HRTMS) began

operation in 1992 using changeable

message signs, access control gates,

and the Safety Service Patrol in a

limited area. Through completion of

the third phase of development in late

2008, VDOT expanded the service

area to 113 total interstate miles, and

integrated CCTV surveillance,

automated vehicle detection devices,

and an incident management system.

I-664

I-564

I-264 I-464

I-64

I-264

74 Vehicle Detection

Devices

113 Miles of Safety Service

Patrol Coverage

6 Highway Advisory

Radio Transmitters

192 Changeable Message

Signs

270 CCTV Cameras

Reversible Roadway

Gates (5 Locations)

5


MOTORIST INFORMATION

Communication

The HRTOC Control Room is the hub

of communication for the HRTMS.

Control Room Operators monitor the

video feed of 270 cameras for

incidents, crashes and roadway

conditions. When adverse conditions

exist, Operators relay this information

to motorists through changeable

message signs, Highway Advisory

Radio (HAR) broadcasts, and the

VDOT 511 information management

system.

VaTraffic is a web-based application

used to manage operations and

maintenance events across the

Commonwealth. With data storage

and reporting functionality, VaTraffic

serves VDOT as a tool for monitoring,

tracking, and assessing statewide

operations and maintenance activity.

Advancing the capabilities of its

predecessor, Virginia Operational

Information System (VOIS), VaTraffic

facilitates the HRTOC Control Room’s

input and management of event data

which ultimately provides traveler

information through the following

sources:

• 511 Virginia traveler information

website

• 511 Virginia Interactive Voice

Response (IVR) telephone system

• VDOT Dashboard website

In addition to the traveler information

service benefit, VaTraffic provides

VDOT with regional and

Commonwealth-wide awareness of

traffic incidents, congestion, road

maintenance and weather events.

After Control Room Operators enter

event data into VaTraffic, they will

often update data as an event

progresses. These updates may

include congestion delays, roadway

closures, and incident clearing times.

The graph to the right details the

number of updates Control Room

Operators entered into VaTraffic in

2008, while the number of total

reports per month is presented below.

Maintenance being performed on a

CCTV Camera positioned on a local

cell tower

2008 HRTOC Control Room

Updates to VaTraffic, Monthly

991

1,679

1,552

1,445

2,098

1,991

1,880

2,391

2,254

2,940

2,236

1,817

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

2,917

4,167

2007 and 2008 Traffic Events Broadcast

Over HAR, Monthly

2007

2008

2,762

7,015

4,415

5,445

3,765

4,210

4,511

5,709

5,686

5,052

4,460

4,722

5,944

6,486

4,128

4,881

5,158

6,438

5,335

4,650

3,966

4,515

361

490

2007 and 2008 VaTraffic Reports, Monthly

333

734

512

642

492

635

458

893

629

816

538

748

709

935

485

710

541

937

621

733

524

2007

2008

695

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

6


Incident Response

RESPONDING QUICKLY TO ASSIST MOTORISTS

Key Accomplishments in 2008:

• Employed an Incident Management Coordinator

• All Safety Service Patrol staff members completed Level One

Certification

• Sustained increase in CCTV detection of events, from 11.1% in 2007, to

24% in 2008

HRTOC Control Room

Incident Response

Timely response to disabled vehicles,

crashes, and other incidents are key to

improving safety and congestion.

Control Room Operators are able to

pan, tilt and zoom 270 cameras and

control over 190 changeable message

signs throughout the Hampton Roads

interstate system.

The HRTOC is able to detect events 24

hours a day, seven days a week. In

addition to HRTOC equipment, Control

Room Operators also receive valuable

information from the Safety Service

Patrol, the public, and the Virginia

State Police Computer Aided Dispatch

system (VSP CAD), to name a few. In

2008 the HRTOC responded to 71,556

events, a 23% increase over 2007.

Once an incident is identified, a

Control Room Operator is responsible

for dispatching the Safety Service

Patrol, notifying the public, and

tracking event-related activity. The

Operator records the type, location

and assistance needed for the

incident, the duration of the incident,

and whether police, fire or rescue

responders were present at the scene.

Event Type

Description

Number of

Events

AMBER / Ozone The HRTOC alerted motorists via Changeable

Alert Message Signs

11

Vehicle Fire Vehicle fire that required extinguishing 229

Special Event Concert, cultural event, etc. 197

Maintenance Repairs and/or maintenance of HRTOC field

Action equipment

985

Off Highway Incident on city street or arterial roadway 300

Roadwork

Stationary work zone, emergency

maintenance, mobile lane closure, etc.

4,253

HOV Change

Manual change made to the HOV Reversible

Roadway by HRTOC

1,944

Other Police or medical emergency 1,337

Choke Point

The HRTOC assisted with congestion management

at the HRBT, MMMBT, or Downtown Tunnel

3,747

Bridge Open

A scheduled opening, an in-progress opening, or a

malfunction of the Berkley Bridge, James River Bridge, 1,697

Coleman Bridge, or High Rise Bridge

Disabled Disabled vehicle 45,188

Debris Ladder, mattress, furniture, etc., in the roadway 3,536

Crash Vehicle collision 5,802

Abandoned Abandoned vehicle 2,330

2008 Events by Detection Source

Control Room Operators dispatched Safety Service

Patrol assistance within two minutes of

identification of all incidents in 2008.

VSP CAD 3% (2,493)

SSP 57% (41,100)

Phone Call 13% (9,325)

VATraffic 1% (384)

VSP Radio 0% (217)

Other 2% (1,158)

CCTV 24% (16,879)

7


INCIDENT RESPONSE

Event duration, the time that passes

from incident verification to incident

clearance, has a profound impact on

motorist safety. Traffic events are

estimated to cause nearly half of all

traffic delays and, according to the

Federal Highway Administration, 16%

of all crashes occur as a result of a

secondary collision—one resulting

from a prior incident.

To manage an incident, Control Room

Operators first verify the incident

through CCTV cameras, the Virginia

State Police Computer Aided Dispatch

system, or other means. The Safety

Service Patrol is then dispatched to

the scene until the incident is cleared,

or they are released.

Incidents are defined as unplanned

situations adversely impacting traffic

flow such as crashes, debris, and

disabled or abandoned vehicles.

Events include everything from

unplanned incidents, defined above,

to planned “special events.”

The HRTOC tracks incident duration

for incidents lasting longer than 30

minutes and longer than 60 minutes.

Incidents lasting longer than 60

minutes are generally more serious,

and may require a post incident

analysis, which involves a discussion

between responding agencies to

establish best practices for future

coordination and response.

2007

2008

2008 Average Traffic Incident Duration,

in minutes

8.7

7.45

Avg Response Time

18.22

20.27

Avg Clear Time

26.92

Average Time

from Verification

to Clearance

27.61

Number of Events

2008 Events Lasting Longer than 30 & 60 Minutes

561

170

591

180

620

184

562

215

Dec 07

Jan 08

Feb 08

Mar 08

685

273

909

Events >30 min

412

582

320

Apr 08

May 08

Jun 08

883

393

1,131

527

816

364

Events >60 min

1,027

463

799

349

796

344

Jul 08

Aug 08

Sep 08

Oct 08

Nov 08

Dec 08

8


INCIDENT RESPONSE

Safety Service Patrol

Assistance

The Safety Service Patrol (SSP) is an

integral part of the overall Traffic

Incident Management strategy. The

SSP program has evolved from basic

motorist assistance into a full incident

management and emergency response

program. In addition to providing

assistance to travelers, our SSP detect

incidents and disruptions in traffic,

minimize incident duration, clear

obstruction and debris from the

roadway, establish traffic control for

emergency responders, and provide

scene assistance as needed.

The Safety Service Patrol assisted

more than 53,000 motorists in 2008.

The Safety Service Patrol monitor 113

miles of interstate, driving 11 routes

24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Their trucks are specially equipped to

service disabled vehicles, and to

remove roadway obstructions as

quickly as possible. In 2008, the

Safety Service Patrol consistently

responded to incidents within five

minutes of dispatch, clearing most

incidents in 30 minutes or less. In total

for the year, the Safety Service Patrol

assisted more than 53,000 motorists.

2008 SSP Assists by Roadway

2008 Types of SSP Assistance

Arterial &

Bridge/Tunnel

I-664

I-64

I-564

I-464

I-264

1,975

1,170

948

847

1979

1613

5,987

6,108

16,689

15,923

Number of Incidents

2007

2008

27,263

27,662

Number of Assists

4,163

4,467

Air

1,199

1.011

440

883

Directions

Flares

5,717

6,174

Fuel

82

273

1,457

1,693

887

886

512

439

Jack

Jump Start

Push

6,281

6,335

5,387

6,194

1,269

1,206

Cell Phone

Tire Change

Tools

Water

2007

2008

9


INCIDENT RESPONSE

Most Active Hot Spots

They are known as “hot spots”:

sections of roadway where the highest

number of incidents occur. These

areas receive special attention,

whether it is through increased Safety

Service Patrol coverage, concentrated

transportation management, or

alternative engineering. HRTOC hot

spot data is used to facilitate studies

of these problem areas, helping VDOT

to provide safer interstates for

motorists in Hampton Roads.

I-64

I-664

I-564

2008 Most Active

Hampton Roads

Hot Spots

The HRTOC uses four incident

categories to determine hot spots:

crashes, highway debris, disabled

vehicles, and abandoned vehicles. In

2008, the stretch of I-264 from

Independence Boulevard to Rosemont

Road represented the highest

occurrence of incidents in all four

categories in one location. The map to

the right identifies key hot spots in

Hampton Roads last year, along with

the number of incidents per location.

Debris Removal (178)

Inside the Midtown Tunnel

Crashes (312)

64/264 Interchange –

Northampton Boulevard

I-264 I-464

I-64

Disabled Vehicles (1,985)

Independence Boulevard –

Rosemont Road

I-264

Abandoned Vehicles (97)

Independence Boulevard –

Rosemont Road

10


Field Equipment Maintenance

MAINTAINING A SOPHISTICATED SYSTEM

Key Accomplishments in 2008:

• Deployed hundreds of field devices (e.g., CCTV cameras, changeable

message signs, roadway detectors) for completion of the final phase of

the HRTMS

• Phased out embedded loop detectors and repaired remote traffic

microwave sensors to support enhanced future traveler information

services

• Preserved uptime through severe weather events, including Hurricane

Hanna, an electrical thunderstorm, and a nor’easter

Field and Systems

Maintenance

Roadway conditions can change

rapidly, and incidents can occur in the

blink of an eye. The TOC relies on

hundreds of field devices to facilitate

quick and accurate incident

identification for immediate response,

as well as timely relay of information

to motorists. It is this urgency that

makes the Maintenance Department

such a critical part of the HRTOC.

field equipment; all of which comprise

the HRTMS. Devices are assigned a

priority level for service based on

safety requirements. For example,

HOV reversible roadway gates and

their associated devices are rated

“priority one” based on their critical

importance.

2008 Average Maintenance

Times by Priority, in hours

2006

2007

2008

3.8

2.5

2.4

8.3

6.1

7.9

26

17.6

22.4

Priority 1 Priority 2 Priority 3

The Maintenance Department is

responsible for the repair and

maintenance of over 270 CCTV

cameras, hundreds of message signs,

dozens of gate controls, and other

2008 Corrective Maintenance by Device Type

Device Availability for 2007 and 2008

CMS (399)

Gates (140)

HAR (41)

DET (40)

BLDG (61)

Projects (68)

99%

98%

90% 89%

100%

98% 99% 96%

70%

90%

2007

2008

CCTV (422)

CCTV CMS Gates HAR Detector

Stations

11


FIELD EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE

Field and Depot Maintenance

Preventative maintenance allows the

HRTOC to identify hidden problems,

prevent device failures, and reduce

the need for corrective maintenance

and equipment downtime. In 2008,

the Maintenance Department

completed 1,874 preventive tasks. The

HRTOC also implemented an improved

preventative maintenance schedule

that details device locations and

scheduled service dates.

The depot sector of the Maintenance

Department is responsible for

performing repairs and maintenance

on all electronic equipment, such as

chips, resistors, capacitors, etc. This

service becomes increasingly

important as equipment ages and

replacement parts become

unavailable. In 2008, the depot sector

of the Maintenance Department

performed nearly 500 repairs.

2008 Preventative Maintenance by Device Type

2008 Depot Level Repairs, by quarter

147

CCTV (479)

CMS (360)

120

113

89

BLDG (191)

Gates (43)

HAR (74)

DET (727)

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

12


Know Before You Go

Check traffic conditions before you hit the road. To avoid congestion, use these Know Before You Go

information resources to check roadway conditions in Hampton Roads:

www.Va511.org

View traffic cameras, set up e-mail and text alerts, learn

about road construction and bridge lifts, and more, all at

one convenient web location.

CMS

Changeable Message Signs are strategically located

throughout the interstate system. Watch them for

current and changing roadway conditions.

HAR Radio, 610 AM

Tune into Highway Advisory Radio at 610 on your AM

radio dial. Incidents, roadway conditions and

congestion reports are broadcast as they occur. If you

are out of the broadcast area, call the TrafficLine at 757-

361-3016, which also transmits the HAR reports.

CITIZEN COMMENTS

“What a life saver! This is an

extraordinary service you provide

and I am truly thankful.” – Emily H.

“(The SSP driver) was very friendly as well

as helpful. If this is what my taxes pay for

then I am truly happy.” – Curtis S.

“The gentleman was very

courteous, helpful and safe. He

made this whole situation much

more bearable.” – Nicholas G.

“I'm very thankful for the help I received.

They took care of everything for me in a

courteous and professional manner. This is

a great service.” – James H.

“(The SSP driver) was very courteous and friendly. He

helped me in a timely manner which was nice because of

how cold it was. I have never had to use SSP service before,

but I'm very glad its available when needed.” – Lucy M.

“As a senior citizen with arthritis and back problems, this service was greatly

appreciated as I didn't have my cell phone. I was really thankful.” – Edward C.

“We ran out of gas on the highway. SSP saw us and

pulled over less than 5 minutes later. They gave us

gas and told us where the nearest gas station was

and we were on our way 5 minutes later… They

were guardian angels. Thank you!” – Lauren S.

“I am new to the area and don't have support or

family. Knowing this type of assistance is available

makes me feel so safe. Thank you!” – Anita B.

“Your driver was exceptionally courteous and

helpful. Being from out of state I am very pleased

with the service. I am also very grateful. Thank

you.” – Josh N.

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