Provide written procedures and training for issuing warnings to Regional Transportation Management Center operators for successful weather integration.
Lessons from the evaluation of the Caltrans District 3 experience in implementing a weather alert notification system
Several lessons can be drawn from this evaluation that will be helpful to other TMCs across the country as they explore ways to integrate weather information into the operations. They are described below:
- Provide in depth operator training for successful weather integration. Operators and management recognize the importance of training to assure well informed and consistent use of the system, but staff reductions have presented a challenge in delivering instruction. Training content should include clear operational policy guidance. In addition, training should provide an understanding of how and why the system upgrades and changes have been made and how they affect weather information flowing into the RTMC. Training content must strike an appropriate balance between the level of specificity in operational guidance for taking action in response to weather and providing flexibility for operators to use their experience and judgment in making decisions about their advisory and control actions.
- Clearly and consistently specify alert notification procedures. The thresholds for issuing warnings and alerts programmed into the notification system should be consistent with the written procedures and training content communicated to operators. Caltrans District 3 procedures call for operators to verify an alert with information from adjacent Road Weather Information System (RWIS) sensors, available third party weather services (National Weather Service, AccuWeather, local weather reports), and/or field observers (typically California Highway Patrol officers). Reconciling differences among these information sources takes experience and judgment on the operators' part. Procedures and training must account for the complexity of operator decision making based on information of varying accuracy, reliability and geographic focus.
This lesson suggests that operating procedures and guidelines for making decisions based on reported weather conditions, as well as training on how to respond to enhanced weather data, should be included as part of the implementation plan for future weather alert notification systems.
Author: Cluett, Chris; Kitchener, Fred
Published By: United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Office of Operations
Source Date: August 2010
Other Reference Number: NTL Record ID 36168URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/36000/36100/36168/sac_evaluation_report_final.pdf
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Intelligent Transportation Systems > Road Weather Management > Surveillance, Monitoring, & Prediction > Atmospheric Conditions
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Road Weather Management > Information Dissemination > Dynamic Message Signs
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Transportation Management Centers > Permanent TMCs > Freeway
RWIS, ESS, Environmental Sensor Station, RWIS Station, road monitoring, weather station, environmental sensing station, DMS, CMS, VMS, Changeable Message Signs, Variable Message Signs