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Vision for Intelligent Transportation – ITS Part 2

February 7, 2010

What Should be the Top Transportation Policy for 2010?

When Lisa Caruso, of the National Journal asked Scott Belcher, The Intelligent Transportation Society of America, President, what should be the top three transportation policies for 2010? Here is what he chose as number  the #1 priority.

Scott F. Belcher, ITS America President and CEO

To move to a performance-based system, we must establish the groundwork for effective performance measurement by improving the collection and availability of uniform real-time traffic and multimodal transportation system data. This can be done today using existing technologies, which will allow state and local officials to:

  • Measure and monitor the performance of their existing multimodal transportation systems;
  • Establish aggressive, yet achievable, near and long-term performance goals in areas such as accident, congestion and emissions reductions; and
  • Optimize the performance of their transportation network through the use of real-time data, active traffic management, improved multimodal system integration, and other 21st century tools and strategies for improving safety, mobility and the environment.

See responses from 17 U.S. transportation authorities to the National Journal’s question: “What were the three most important transportation developments of 2009? And what should be the top three transportation policy priorities of 2010, either for government at any level or for the private sector?” On their 1/4/10 article The State of Transportation.

Mr. Belcher starts off in agreement with Peter Drucker and other management thinkers with the axiom “Before you can mange you must measure.”  We will be meeting with Scott Blecher this week at the NWTC Conference and will report on his and other expert views on the future of Intelligent Transportation Systems so we can develop a vision of what ITS has to offer.

Report Should Be “A Serious Wake Up Call” For U.S. Policymakers

From an ITS America press release…

“WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 — The United States is lagging behind other world leaders in the use of new technologies to address traffic congestion, CO2 emissions, traffic crashes, and other major challenges according to a report issued yesterday by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).”

Explaining International IT Application Leadership: Intelligent Transportation Systems

By Stephen Ezell
January 27, 2010

This report examines the promise of ITS, identifies the global leaders in ITS and why they are leaders, discusses the reasons for the U.S. failure to lead, and proposes a number of recommendations for how Congress and the Administration can spur robust ITS deployment.

Benefitit-Cost Ratitio and EcEconomicic Assessments of Intelligent Transportatition Systems

Overall, the benefit-cost ratio of systems-operations measures (enabled by intelligent transportation systems) has been estimated at about 9 to 1, far above the addition of conventional highway capacity, which has a benefit-cost ratio of 2.7 to 1.68 In one study, researchers at Florida International University found that the $9.9 million annual cost of a traffic operations management system in Broward County, Florida, yielded a benefit of $142 million in reduced travel time, fuel consumption, emissions, and secondary accidents involving rubbernecks (a 14 to 1 ratio).69 With regard to implementation of specific ITS systems, a study of 26 traffic signal optimization projects in Texas found that signal optimization benefits outweighed costs by 38 to 1.70

For full report…


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