Region 2: Traffic Operations

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Overview

The Traffic Operations Division oversees traffic and signal studies, traffic operations, and the maintenance of electrical highway systems. This division develops corridor agreements and access management plans, direct risk management and safety/loss needs, incident management, and emergency communications.
The group works with the community, local municipalities, and other agencies to provide support for traffic, safety, and active transportation. This includes identifying and developing innovative solutions for traffic and safety issues in UDOT Region Two.
Patrick Cowley
Traffic Operations Engineer


Permits

The Permits area includes Access, Encroachment, and Special Events permits and Blue Stakes utility marking for UDOT assets.

Goal: Improve Customer Service

ACCESS/SPECIAL EVENTS
Create a standing access permit weekly meeting and ensure approved access plans are the same as encroachment plans. Weekly meetings with plan reviewers are held Tuesdays at 2:30pm. Added access permit # to pre-app checklist. Working to create an "Approval" stamp that will go on all plans.
ENCROACHMENT
Hold bi-weekly meetings to collaborate and coordinate efforts throughout the Region. Topics include inspection methods, project coordination, and training needs. Bi-weekly meetings held with occasional exceptions. The information sharing has helped the group be more efficient in their duties.
Blue Stakes
Develop a Region Signals map. GPS software is used to map specific utilities and forwarded to GIS group to create a GIS layer. We will be mapping an intersection per week and train all locators in the GPS process.


GOAL: Provide training opportunities

ACCESS/SPECIAL EVENTS
Access Manager Nate Stephens to set up weekly training sessions. Topics include Excel, Google sheets, OLP, process improvements, policies, and leadership principles. Trainings began Feb 9 and six (6) trainings have been held to date.
BLUE STAKES
Increase understanding of traffic control through the LTAP course and spend one-on-one time with the Blue Stakes Supervisor. GPS All locators attended the LTAP training course and have had one on one time with the Blue Stakes supervisor, Golden Holt. Golden continues to mentor and teach each locator according to their specific needs.
ENCROACHMENT
Provide opportunities for additional training for encroachment inspectors in materials, traffic control and ped ramp construction. Inspectors are scheduled for concrete and density training this coming May. All inspectors have completed the LTAP course offered through AGC. All inspectors have attended or are scheduled to attend the ped ramp training course.


GOAL: Increase Quality

ACCESS/SPECIAL EVENTS
Create a "Cradle to Grave" tracking process for access permits including early identification of required documents and verification of information at permit issuance. Comprehensive checklists were developed and implemented for teams and reviewers allowing for more thorough verification of documentation speeding up the verification process. A "Your Next Steps" document with live links to aid the submitters was also developed. In addition, a GIS map in UPLAN has been developed as a quick source of information including mileposts, city boundaries, AADT, UDOT Fiber, three year plan, special events, etc.
BLUE STAKES
In the past, quality has been measured on annual damages. The Blue Stakes group is implementing an audit procedure for training and quality improvement. A quality check procedure has been developed and field audits in each of the locator's areas is being performed with follow up and feedback provided in staff meetings. The Blue Stakes group has also developed a GIS map to assist locators in identifying UDOT assets.
ENCROACHMENT
Improve quality with one-on-one time with each inspector. Ride alongs will help improve understanding of authority, increase experience making complex decisions in the field, enhance communication within the team. Three ride alongs have been done with encouragement to schedule and complete more on a regular basis.
Also, the Encroachment Group went through the actions of documenting unsafe behavior by a contractor and followed up with a process that had never been used before to stop work and ensure future compliance. There were many stressful days as the arbitration and legal processes were followed. The group performed well and provided thorough documentation throughout the process.

Traffic and Safety Projects

The Traffic & Safety Projects Group coordinates with UDOT project teams to help determine needs within a roadway project pertaining to the movement of traffic, signing, striping, and other safety features. They also help lead the efforts related to performing traffic studies to determine needs for new traffic signals, signals for pedestrian crossings, and speed limit changes.

GOAL: Improve response for providing lane limitations to projects

Have preliminary lane limitations prepared for scoping meetings. This will allow for earlier conversations with project team members regarding the limitations of operations. Using a spreadsheet to track project milestones and when limitations were provided to the team. Continuing to emphasize the importance of getting this information to the project teams early in the process.


GOAL: Provide training opportunities

Organize a monthly training meeting within the Traffic & Safety Group. Topics include the MUTCD, Standard Drawings, Specifications, AASHTO Green Book, Highway Capacity Manual, UDOT Sign Manual, etc. These training meetings help to increase core competency. Trainings to date have included the HSIP/SSIP programs, quality guidelines for temporary traffic control devices and features, Purple Book Safety Check lists, leadership and planning principles, and ATMS Data collection. It is anticipated that going forward and according to DOPL, these will meet the continuing education requirements for the Professional Engineer's License.


GOAL: Improve knowledge and familiarity of state routes

Organize route drive throughs to have the Traffic & Safety group drive every route in the Region within the year. The goal is to look for specific traffic & Safety features and roadway elements that need improvement. Route drive throughs were organized and a form was developed to document the findings. 49 State Routes were identified and the following graphs show the quarterly progress:
From the information on the forms, a list has been developed of the needed improvements. These have been prioritized and work orders are planned to address the areas of highest need. The list will also serve for areas that can be addressed on future projects.


TRAFFIC & SAFETY: PLANNING, PROGRAMMING & SAFETY

The Traffic & Safety Planning, Programming, & Safety Group coordinates efforts to identify and prioritize traffic safety projects, as well as projects to improve traffic flow. They also coordinate efforts related to active transportation (bikes, pedestrians, transit). The Planning & Programming team also address questions or complaints from the public regarding UDOT roads in Salt Lake, Summit, and Tooele counties.

GOAL: Improve project identification & prioritization processes

Engage the services of a consultant to help with the process and prioritization criteria. Increase knowledge and use of UDOT SafeMap and usRAP for additional insight. Analyze and assess the quality of data, and coordinate efforts with Central T&S, and planning groups. Hales Engineering developed criteria and learned more regarding SafeMap and usRAP to help prioritize projects. Discussed findings with Central Planning to make sure efforts aren't duplicated. Working toward a tool that will incorporate the findings to be able to give recommendations for project prioritization from a Traffic & Safety perspective.


GOAL: Develop formal process for assessing safety concerns on state routes

Develop a safety assessment form and process for documenting, prioritizing, and executing needed improvements. Pilot process on MVC intersections. Both Day and Night Safety Assessment forms were developed, the intersections were divvied up to teams of two, and site visits made. The information was discussed in Safety Meeting and the issues recorded in the assessments were categorized and a plan was identified on how to address them. The effort was a success and is a template on what can be done in the future at other intersections around the Region. The effort was discussed at UDOT conference in a breakout session and the form has been shared with other regions.


GOAL: Improve emergency response plan for Region Two

Work with UDOT Central Safety Manager and gather information from other entities to add value to our existing plan. Develop plan to address emergency response on the Region 2 Campus. Worked with Central Safety Manager, TOC and obtained information from CalTrans regarding building safety and emergency plan details. Compared to existing documentation and are working toward a comprehensive up to date plan for the Region.



GOAL: Develop procedure for executing corridor agreements for all routes

Work with Central Research to explore best practices from other states. Work on producing a template for corridor agreements. Identify which corridors are highest priority and most likely to be implemented and provide simple modeling to verify proposed signal locations. Hired a consultant to map and develop a prioritization method for corridor agreements. Worked with Murray City to develop a model of a section of State Street, which will lead to a corridor agreement.


SIGNALS

The Signals Group coordinates the efforts of signal inspection and maintenance, and plan review for projects.

GOAL: Traffic signals maintenance measures

Complete preventative maintenance efforts for both ground and aerial based inspections for the 2016 calendar year. Record any deficiencies encountered during the inspections. Complete reactive maintenance work orders within 5 working days. Preventative maintenance efforts were completed for the year and the deficiencies were recorded into a master list. The signals crew is systematically addressing the needs beginning with pedestrian push buttons (completed) and pedestrian signal heads (half-way completed) with re-grouting efforts up next. The crew has lowered the three month average from 5.5 days to 2.8 days for the work orders. while the volume has remained relatively steady.


GOAL: Asset management

Maintain and update signal equipment lists in the AIMS system. Provide Signal Engineer with new and rebuild signal completions along with new devices for addition to the signal performance metrics system.
Placed tags on high value items in the signal cabinets in anticipation for the new system which should be delivered in the next few months. Regular coordination happening with Signal Engineer and crew with all available locations online. Program is expanding with the goal to have the entire Region online in 2017. In addition to these efforts, the crews installed plug-ins for backup generators for over 80% of signal cabinets in the Region. The remaining 20% are expected to be complete by the end of the fiscal year.


GOAL: Construction inspection

Ensure that signal turn on checklists and inspection reports are completed. Work with Signal Engineer and Resident Engineer to resolve outstanding issues. Inspections are taking place and checklists created.
Deficiencies reported to contractor and followed up to verify correction.