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Traffic Performance with INRIX Data Pilot Project

Location: Statewide, Virginia Client: Virginia Department of Transportation

JMT's Technology Group provided traffic data mining and analysis services to support a pilot program of developing performance metrics along 45 commuter corridors located throughout Virginia. 

JMT's Technology Group provided traffic data mining and analysis services to support a pilot program of developing performance metrics along 45 commuter corridors located throughout Virginia.In an effort to increase transparency and accountability, many transportation agencies are focusing on the development of quality performance measures to justify the need for improvements along its road network and to illustrate future impacts and benefits.  JMT participated on a team tasked with developing performance metrics for five pilot corridors, including three freeways and two arterials, using historical travel time and speed data purchased from INRIX.

 The use of INRIX facilitated the simulation of real world travel time and speed conditions along commuter corridors. Computation methods and scripts were developed to generate nine performance metrics for each corridor for morning and evening peak periods including Delay per Vehicle, Travel Time Index, Buffer Index, Planning Time Index, Percent On-Time Arrival, Total Delay, Congested Travel, Percent of Congested Travel and Misery Index.  The most applicable measures for various objectives were determined by developing the performance measures on corridors with a variety of characteristics.

 The INRIX source datasets represented travel speeds along each Traffic Management Channel (TMC) link for every 5-minute and 15-minute period of the year. Aggregation of the 5-minute INRIX speed data to the corridor level proved challenging, because each corridor contained multiple TMCs and there were varying seasonal traffic characteristics throughout the year. As a result, the definition of peak periods required semi-automated methods. The generation of annual average speed differential charts assisted with the identification of continuous periods of reduced speeds for Urban Interstates but did not work as well for Arterials.

The challenges and successes of the pilot study were outlined in a report and submitted to the client to help generate performance measures for the selected corridors. The variation in travel times was then understood as a separate component of public and business sector frustration with congestion problems. As a result, one key principle learned is that metrics used to track congestion should be based on the travel time experienced by users of the highway system.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)/Virginia honored the entire team's efforts with a 2013 Merit Award.

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