Improving Regional Advanced Traveler Information Systems Through Interoperability

Client: New York State Department of Transportation
Faculty: Martha Galvez and David Margalit
Team: Colin Drake, Megan Driscoll, Artineh Havan, Naomi Iwasaki, Peter Jarrett
Year: 2006
In the era of Robert Moses, transportation planners tried to relieve traffic congestion by building new highways. After years of watching new roads fill up as soon as they were built, planners have largely abandoned this approach. Now, planners help motorists make the most efficient use of limited roadway space by deploying Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). ITS technologies include EZ-PASS, freeway ramp metering, and reversible flow lanes. Other ITS technologies notify motorists of congested traffic conditions and help motorists identify alternate routes. These technologies are known as Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) and include Variable Message Signs, Highway Advisory Radio, and online traveler information websites. Throughout New York, dozens of agencies operate ATIS. The quality of information that reaches motorists is dependent upon these agencies’ ability to share traffic information with one another. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is looking to improve the exchange of traffic information within its eleven regions and between itself and other agencies. The Capstone team will deliver to NYSDOT a set of recommendations designed to improve this exchange of traffic information. The recommendations will focus on three areas: (1) opportunities to co-locate NYSDOT facilities and staff with other agencies’ facilities and staff, (2) opportunities to adopt compatible Regional Architectures, software systems that aid with the cataloging and dissemination of traffic information, (3) at a policy-making level, opportunities to bring together representatives of NYSDOT regions to promote inter-regional cooperation.