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Traffic Data Monitoring Partnerships with ITS Operations


State DOT highway travel monitoring programs are continually seeking consistent quality traffic data sources that can be integrated into their business model. There have been many new advances and a very rapid deployment of ITS systems which are being used to monitor and maintain a safe and operationally efficient transportation network in real-time. Since these systems are used for day-to-day operations, they are very well maintained and monitored.


The objective of this study is to learn how technology integrations between the ITS community and the traffic monitoring community have removed barriers and how the partnerships have addressed data quality concerns. The study should provide the monitoring community a better understanding of how the partnerships are providing improved coordination and creating resource efficiencies while reducing their individual system program reach.


Travel monitoring programs are seeking to expand their use of the data collected by ITS operations while sharing their systems data with ITS operations.

The Federal Highway Administration’s 2013 Traffic Monitoring Guidebook has placed an emphasis on the coordination between traffic monitoring programs and traffic operations programs. In Chapter 5 of the guide, it suggests coordination mechanisms and provides five case studies documenting existing or previous partnerships.

The guide highlights four areas where there are coordination opportunities. They included:

  • “At the traffic sensor”- some non-intrusive sensors offer on-device data storage and the ability to bin and store the collected information into separated groups

  • At the roadside cabinet- some equipment vendors offer controllers or traffic counters that can collect and interact real time while storing binned data

  • After the transportation management centers (TMC)”- data gathered at center can be post processed and summarized into aggregated data

  • “Coordinated equipment location only” –Mutually agreeable equipment locations for monitoring to share and save on construction, power, and communications costs.

While the Monitoring Guide offer suggestions about coordination options, there is not much information on the management of the data and the cost savings brought about by the coordination. Agencies tend to focus on their primary purpose and seldom collaborate across program objectives.


The study should address the following questions:

  1. How much can dual-purpose ITS/TM sites (traffic operations and traffic monitoring or historical reporting) improve efficiency and lower costs?

  2. How do ITS/TM sites vary with respect to site selection, installation, maintenance, and operations and how do these variances affect the reliability and shelf-life/up-time of a site?

  3. How does co-locating and co-funding a site leverage a transportation agency’s resources?

  4. What aspects of asset and performance management relate to installing ITS/TM sites and how does this impact a transportation agency’s operations, maintenance, and traffic data reporting activities?

  5. Are there any financial, staff resources, and site quality implications to installing ITS/TM sites?

  6. What is the current state of practice for installing ITS/TM sites across transportation agencies?

  7. How is data quality managed and quantified?

  8. What resources within a transportation organization determine how sites are qualified for dual purposes?

  9. How is it determined when there are dual purpose uses?

Sponsoring Committee:ACP70, Highway Traffic Monitoring
Research Period:12 - 24 months
Research Priority:High
RNS Developer:Shaun Turner, Lawrence Whiteside
Date Posted:07/26/2017
Date Modified:04/20/2018
Index Terms:Traffic data, Traffic surveillance, Partnerships, Intelligent transportation systems, Automatic data collection systems,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Administration and Management
Data and Information Technology
Operations and Traffic Management
Planning and Forecasting
Transportation (General)

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