Consider potential system enhancements to meet heavy demand.

Utah DOT’s experience managing the development and deployment of arterial and freeway management systems

Salt Lake City,Utah,United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

ITS system enhancements can help agencies meet potential heavy transportation demand. Overall, the Salt Lake City system performed well given the extreme demands of the 2002 Winter Olympics. It is highly unlikely that the CommuterLink System will ever be required to function to the high level of usage as occurred during the Olympics. This extensive usage did highlight potential enhancements to the system as well as some technical issues with the current configuration:

Variable Message Sign User Interface enhancements – the current design of the VMS control allows for the modification/command of a single VMS at a time. With over 60 permanent signs, it would have been much easier to simply command a change in content that could then be broadcast to multiple signs at once. Also, the VMS control did not appear to allow for Time-Of-Day scheduling of messages or a default messaging feature.

Highway Advisory Radio – communications to the HAR utilized cellular telephone systems to upload new messages. Given the cellular phone traffic in the area during the Olympic Games, there were times when connection with the HAR unit could not be made to update the messages. In addition, the HAR units were battery powered with a solar recharge capability. These HAR units were transmitting for extended periods of time during the games. At times, power to the HAR was lost due to consumption exceeding the available charging capacity of the solar panels.

While some of these issues were largely unique to the heavy demands of the Olympic Games, similar issues could occur in other urbanized areas where extensive incident management and/or traveler information services are in place. Similar extreme demands could also occur in the instance of a catastrophic event.

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Intelligent Transportation Systems at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games: Traffic Management and Traveler Information Case Study

Author: Mark Nuaimi (Iteris)

Published By: Utah DOT

Source Date: 4/1/2003

EDL Number: 13851

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/3879

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Lesson Contacts

Lesson Contact(s):

Mark Nuaimi
Iteris, Inc.

Agency Contact(s):

Lawrence Jessie Glazer

Lesson Analyst:

Jane Lappin
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center


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CCTV, closed circuit television cameras, road monitoring, security, DMS, CMS, VMS, Changeable Message Signs, Variable Message Signs, planned special events, HAR

Lesson ID: 2005-00100