Transportation Systems Management & Operations | Baltimore Metropolitan Council

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Transportation Systems Management & Operations

As congestion in the region continues to increase, it is critical that we operate the transportation system as efficiently and safely as possible. That is why a major focus of our work is on identifying approaches to better manage and operate all modes of our transportation system.

These approaches fall under the broad heading of Transportation Systems Management and Operations or TSMO. TSMO includes technological tools (such as automatically detecting slow traffic, synchronizing traffic signals, and tracking transit vehicles to provide real-time information to travelers) and non-technological tools (such as coordinating maintenance schedules, improving coordination between emergency responders, and increasing communication between operators and planners on common goals for the operation of the transportation system).

Many of the strategies evaluated as part of the congestion management process would be considered TSMO strategies, and the region’s TSMO and CMP efforts are closely coordinated.

Transportation Impact Study (TIS) Guidelines & Best Practices

In FY 2020, BMC initiated a UPWP project to “Develop Traffic Impact Study (TIS) Guidelines” for potential use by its member jurisdictions. Hereafter, BMC will use the term Transportation Impact Study to reflect a multimodal approach. These “guidelines” would support the analysis of the impacts that may be attributable to a proposed land use development on the surrounding transportation network. The project scope stipulated the following principal objectives:

  1. Review and document the current Traffic Impact Study guidelines and related requirements currently used by nine (9) BMC members;
  2. Review new research and best practices for improving Traffic Impact Studies, specifically to consider the current use of level of service criteria, and to potentially include assessment of multi-modal impacts; and
  3. Suggest recommendations for best practices to be used in conducting Traffic Impact Studies.

The FY 2020 suggested best practices and recommendations report can be found here.

TIS Guidelines Phase II

The steering committee that helped with the initial study suggested additional topics that they wanted to explore in detail. BMC initiated an FY 2022 UPWP project (TIS Guidelines – Phase II) to build upon the recommendations found in the “Regional Traffic Impact Study Guidelines” (November 2020). Phase II was completed in Fall 2022. The consultant team that worked on the study provided multiple documents that can be used by state and local jurisdictions. They are:

ITS Architecture

The BRTB applies the Maryland Statewide ITS Architecture to activities in the Baltimore region. The State of Maryland has complied with the requirements of the “Intelligent Transportation Systems Architecture and Standards,” as mandated by the Federal Highway Administration (23 CFR 940) and supported by the Federal Transit Administration.

The following policy objectives are enumerated in 23 CFR 940.5: “ITS projects shall conform to the National ITS Architecture and standards in accordance with the requirements contained in this [Federal rule]. Conformance with the National ITS Architecture is interpreted to mean the use of the National ITS Architecture to develop a [R]egional ITS Architecture, and the subsequent adherence of all ITS projects to that [R]egional ITS Architecture. Development of the [R]egional ITS Architecture should be consistent with the transportation planning process for Statewide and Metropolitan Transportation Planning.”

The Maryland Statewide ITS Architecture was developed to address these specific policy objectives. The resultant Architecture is consistent with statewide and metropolitan transportation planning processes.

The Maryland Statewide ITS Architecture was most recently updated in 2016. It identifies existing and planned ITS projects across the state and the Architecture “Elements” associated with those projects. It defines the relationships among the Elements and describes the flow of information between Elements. The document also presents an ITS “operational concept” and identifies key ITS stakeholders and agreements.

BMC staff serve on the Maryland ITS Architecture Advisory Panel (IAAP) and review projects to assess project conformity with the Maryland Statewide Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Architecture. The conformity of ITS-related projects to regional ITS architectures is mandated jointly by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) under 23 CFR 940 (January 8, 2001). The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) established the IAAP to; (1) oversee the development and update of the Maryland Architecture; and (2) assess ITS project conformance with the architecture.

Recently, the IAAP reviewed two projects for conformity with the ITS Architecture:

Maryland Transit Administration FY 2017 Projects

I-270 Innovative Congestion Management Project: Ramp Metering