The scope of the Regional ITS Architecture can be described in terms of: 1) the size of the region and jurisdictions covered (geographic scope), 2) the planning or time horizon, and 3) the variety of transportation services that are covered. This scope is defined in the context of adjacent and overlapping Regional ITS Architectures.
The Region 8 Intelligent Transportation Systems Architecture is a framework of transportation systems and services that work together to increase the safety and efficiency of transportation. Region 8 is a collection of four Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) that coordinate transportation services within Region 8. This system architecture can be used by operations agencies and planning agencies to plan for transportation integration opportunities within the region and reflect on opportunities and operational needs throughout the region. By utilizing the Region 8 ITS Architecture, each transportation project can be seen as a part of the larger transportation system allowing for easier coordination between the MPOs. The ITS Architecture of Region 8 provides a common language that Transportation Councils and MPOs in Region 8 can use to communicate during the development of the detailed design.
Methodology and Trends
Review of Methodology
The Region 8 ITS Architecture addresses the needs of Region 8 and provides a high-level outline to coordinate the application of ITS technologies to needs. The current ITS architecture was developed in 2003; since that time the technology and capabilities behind ITS have changed along with the needs of Region 8. In order to provide the most effective ITS system, Region 8 must utilize a more current ITS architecture to reflect present-day needs. The needs were determined by analyzing all of the Long Range Transportation Plans (LRTPs), Unified Planning Work Programs (UPWPs) and Transportation Improvement Plans (TIPs) for the Transportation Councils within Region 8. Although Columbia County is not within an MPO, their Transportation Coordination Plan provided insight into the needs and objectives within the county. Although the needs are extensive and vary in significance they can ultimately be attributed to six major sources:
- Congestion Management
- Safe and Secure
- Accessible and Multi-Modal
- Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection
- Efficient and Resilient
- Economically Encouraging
Increases in population will create strain on the finite space and transportation infrastructure within Region 8. In the Dutchess County LRTP, the population was reported to increase by 6.2% from 2000 to 2010. Similarly, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council's (NYMTC) LRTP reported a population growth of about 7% from 1990 to 2005. As of 2010, Orange County's population ranked it as the 12th most populous county of the 62 counties in New York according to the Orange County Transportation Council's LRTP. These trends are linked to increased roadway congestion. The LRTPs of the MPOs in Region 8 acknowledge these trends and express plans to reduce congestion and delays. The NYMTC LRTP recognizes challenges to the current transportation infrastructure and notes that congestion causes over $13 billion annually in delays and revenue losses. NYMTC focuses on improved mobility by means of efficient management of existing and anticipated demand coupled with alternative strategies to alleviate congestion. The NYMTC LRTP makes reference to the Federal Highway Administration's MAP-21 initiative, in which congestion reduction is one of seven primary goal areas. The Ulster County LRTP looks to increase mobility by encouraging alternate modes of travel, while the Dutchess County LRTP aims to increase walking and bicycling activity by increasing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. Through the use of a coordinated ITS system, the Transportation Councils and local and state Departments of Transportation will be able to concentrate their efforts in a more efficient way to grow with the population and create a more effective and efficient transportation network and use of land. A growing and dynamic region is envisioned over the next two decades and the preservation, enhancement, and the strategic improvement of the extensive transportation system is necessary to support the region. These Congestion Management goals of the MPOs can be supported by ITS systems and standards associated with the regional ITS architecture.
Safe and Secure
Constant improvements to transportation safety and security are of paramount importance in reducing annual injuries and fatalities on Region 8's transportation systems. Outlined within the NYMTC 2040 Plan are plans for the promulgation of advanced safety and security measures throughout the region along with enhanced coordination and information sharing among member agencies and other stakeholders. The Ulster County LRTP notes a specific need to reduce injury crashes and fatalities with specific goals of reducing injury crashes by 52% and crash fatalities by 39% over the next 20 years, and plans to provide transportation planning and programming support to transportation security agencies and authorities requesting assistance as a method to achieve those goals. From a statewide perspective, the New York State LRTP outlines the need to improve overall safety and security through cost effective risk management and an all-hazards approach to the development of effective incident management practices to address preparedness, response, and recovery from incidents. Addressing the need for safe and secure transportation, the regional ITS architecture can be used as a tool to assist in planning ITS based safety and security projects within Region 8.
Accessible and Multi-Modal
Transportation accessibility is a key issue, and across Region 8 there has been a significant increase in the aging and disabled population resulting in challenges for public transit and paratransit services. The LRTP for Ulster County discusses increased service and reliability enhancements for Ulster County Area Transportation, Kingston Citibus and many Private/Non-Profit Paratransit agencies to service these customers. Similar enhancements are mentioned for the LOOP bus system in the Dutchess County LRTP with an eye towards accommodating the largest amount of passengers possible while remaining convenient for citizens of Dutchess County. Within its 2040 Plan, NYMTC suggests solutions such as expanded connections across modes and between communities as well as increased transit ridership. The Orange County LRTP calls for travelers to be provided with reasonable choices of transportation mode, and looks to provide consistent capacity by proposing that no highway segments operate above a volume to capacity ratio of 0.9. The New York State LRTP looks to improve multi-modal transportation by addressing customer expectations for dependability, travel time, choice, and quality of service. With the need to implement the Americans with Disability Act improvements statewide, the ITS architecture can help coordinate ITS related efforts between counties to ensure relative uniformity of handicap-accessible extents throughout Region 8.
Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection
Pollution resulting from traffic congestion can be addressed in Region 8 from the high level perspective the regional ITS architecture provides. Each county within Region 8's Transportation Council mentions protecting environmentally sensitive areas and reducing pollution by increasing the use of public transportation in their LRTPs. The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council predicts that through promotion efforts from 2014 to 2040, total transit trips are expected to increase 22 percent region-wide. According to the LRTP produced by Orange County's Transportation Council, census data shows that carpooling decreased by 11% between 1980 and 2009. Creating a system that coordinates between counties to promote carpooling can help reverse this trend, and make positive strides towards reducing the number of single occupant vehicles which can adversely impact the environment. Similar programs to encourage the use of public transportation or to manage traffic can also help reduce the volume of vehicle emissions. Improvements in the ITS architecture will assist in the coordination of efforts throughout Region 8 to lessen traffic congestion and help reduce the amount of pollution.
Economic growth is vital to any community, and Region 8 is no exception. Economic expansion drives tourism, creates employment opportunities, and supports the tax base. A robust transportation system is a significant factor in ensuring economic growth can be fostered and sustained. Within the NYMTC 2040 Plan, the organization calls on its members to continue maintenance and development of the regional infrastructure to support the vitality, competitiveness, and sustainable growth of the entire regional economy. Additionally, NYMTC envisions a strengthened position for the region as a global and national gateway with improved regional mobility for people and goods. The Ulster County LRTP proposes the implementation of strategies to improve freight mobility and tourism with an ongoing evaluation process, while the Orange County Transportation Council LRTP stresses the need to minimize the displacement of people and business during construction of new or expanded transportation facilities. Through the use of ITS devices, Transportation Councils and MPOs can ensure growth of economy while maintaining the safety of Region 8's roads.
Efficient and Resilient
Outdated and aging infrastructure creates challenges for both travelers and the transportation system. Customer surveys and other sources indicate conclusively that maintenance of the State's existing transportation assets in a state of good repair, regardless of ownership, is a high priority of the traveling public and a major factor in determining selection of mode and route. Currently Dutchess County has 150 bridges classified as deficient under the NYSDOT rating system and is working to repair those that are structurally deficient or obsolete by FHWA and NYSDOT standards. Dutchess County is also looking to improve mass transit by means of increased passenger comfort, reliability, and by marketing the environmental benefits of public transportation. The Orange County LRTP outlines a goal of preserving, rebuilding, and maintaining existing and future infrastructure to meet Federal, State, County, and Municipal standards. The NYMTC LRTP discusses plans to conduct a risk assessment of infrastructure, and ultimately improve resiliency by identifying critical focus areas brought to light by historical incidents or natural disasters. As the infrastructure deteriorates or becomes outdated, the need to create cost-effective solution will increase in order to maintain a level of safety on all roads and bridges. As a result of the concerns from public surveys, state-of-the-art asset management principles and ITS systems will be applied to New York State's aging infrastructure to ensure safety and efficiency of transportation throughout Region 8.
Region 8 ITS Architecture Overlap within New York State
The next section reviews the overlap between the Region 8 ITS Architecture and the regional ITS architectures of other regions of New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). For the purposes of this document, overlap is defined as any ITS Service Packages (services) utilized in both Region 8 and the surrounding New York State Regions. Services are part of the ITS framework that work together to increase the safety and efficiency of roadways. Overlapping services mark consistencies between the regional ITS architecture in Region 8 and the other ITS architectures in the State. On the other hand, services that do not overlap may be unique to Region 8 or indicative of gaps in the present-day architecture. Upon analysis of the architecture, there is a large amount of overlap between services in the different New York State architectures; however, there are inconsistencies which should be highlighted and addressed throughout the architecture update process.
Data for this analysis was compiled from ITS architectures throughout New York State including Regions 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 11, and the New York Statewide Services architectures. To-date there is no centralized repository for the regional ITS architectures in the State. The Turbo Architecture files for these regions were found through online research of the various New York State regions freely provided by other Consulting firms. Regions that did not have a Turbo Architecture file readily available were not included in this analysis, as the process to compare services was not as straightforward. The services of each region were exported directly from the Turbo Architecture software produced by Iteris. From there, services from each NYSDOT region were categorized into groups for further investigation. The first group indicates overlap, which identifies services that are the same between the Region 8 ITS architecture and the other State regional ITS architectures. The second group shows services unique to Region 8 and consists of services present in Region 8 but not in other architectures. The third group shows potential gaps Region 8 has to fill and consists of services that are not present in the Region 8 ITS Architecture but are present in other State regional ITS architectures.
A high-level view of this data indicates that there is overlap among the NYSDOT regions. Out of the 44 services in the Region 8 architecture, 31 of the services overlap are also documented as existing or planned in 4 or more New York State Regions. In total, there are 87 ITS Services documented as existing or planned in the State.
However, some of the data points to uniqueness in the regional ITS architectures. Region 8 has 13 services that are unique to its region, and there are 15 services common to most of the other regional ITS architectures that are not in the Region 8 ITS Architecture. There are also 28 other services common to the other State regional ITS architectures that are not in the Region 8 architecture.
In some cases Region 8 may have gaps to fill. There are 15 services that are common throughout the other State regional ITS architectures, but missing from Region 8. Some of these services include Electronic Clearance, Weigh-In-Motion, Transit Passenger Counting, Early Warning System, and Transit Signal Priority. These 15 services will be examined closely throughout the Region 8 ITS Architecture update process as they could be indicative of statewide initiatives presently not included in the Region 8 ITS Architecture.
In other cases, the needs of Region 8 are unique, and this may have lead to some individualized services. Examples include Advanced Railroad Grade Crossing, Mayday and Alarms Support, Reversible Lane Management, Speed Warning and Enforcement, and Traffic Signal Control. Some of these services may be uncommon due to the specific and uncommon needs of a region. For instance, Advanced Railroad Grade Crossing is deployed only where operational requirements for HighwayRail Intersections (HRIs) are in excess of 80 miles per hour. This requirement would only involve those locations with a significant high-speed rail presence, which is much more common in the downstate regions of the State.
Likewise, there were also a significant number of services that were unique to other individual regions of New York State. 28 services were not in the Region 8 architecture, and were uncommon among the other State ITS architectures. This may indicate unique needs of other regions within the State. For instance, Region 5 manages an International Border with Canada and utilizes the International Border Electronic Clearance service. Region 8 is not near the border with Canada, so may not be expected to include this service. Regardless, each individual service represented in the National ITS Architecture will be reviewed and considered for the Region 8 ITS Architecture update.
Within the overlap group, there are also trends among the inventory items within a service that may indicate even more significant overlap in the State. Each service package is made up of a number of elements, which make up the inventory utilized by each service package. The most common elements associated with the overlapping services are TRANSCOM RA Servers, NYSDOT Statewide Information Exchange Network (IEN), NYSDOT Statewide Video Exchange Network (VEN), Local DPW Dispatch, and NYSTA Thruway Statewide Operations Center (TSOC). The table below shows these elements and the number of times the elements appear in the overlapping services.
Most Common Elements in the Overlapping Services / Count of Elements
TRANSCOM RA Servers / 92
NYSDOT Statewide Information Exchange Network / 84
NYSDOT Statewide Video Exchange Network / 74
Local DPW Dispatch / 74
NYSTA Statewide Operations Center (TSOC) / 71
The elements listed above are the most common inventory items utilized by ITS services in New York State. This indicates a deeper level of overlap than a higher-level services overlap. These inventory items will be reviewed in more detail as the Region 8 ITS Architecture process continues.
There were also some inconsistencies in the number of elements per service among some of the regional ITS architectures. The Buffalo Regional ITS Architecture generally has a much higher count of elements for their services than the other regional ITS architectures in the State. For example, the Broadcast Traveler Information service has 127 elements and the ITS Data Mart service has 180 elements, whereas the same services for Region 8 have 56 and 79 associated elements respectively. The opposite of this can be seen in the Region 11 architecture where all of their service packages have between 2 and 6 associated elements. This information could indicate that the different regions are deploying the same services but with different elements grouped more generally. Identifying trends like these may be useful for studying why certain regions include different elements and if a service package could be improved if other elements were added or dropped to/from the service package.
After analyzing the data from the 7 regional ITS architectures Turbo files available in New York State, it can be seen that there is significant overlap with Region 8, but Region 8's unique needs and also gaps in the Region 8 ITS Architecture will need to be further studied. These trends will be monitored throughout the Region 8 update process in order to help improve the current Region 8 ITS Architecture.
Methodology of Gathering Information
Information contained within this document came from two major sources: planning documents and an interview of stakeholders. For the planning documents, every county within Region 8 is part of a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) except Columbia County. Many of the needs, objectives, timeframe, services scope, stakeholders, inventory and services for this Regioan ITS Architecture update were derived from analyzing the long range planning documents publicly available from the MPOs and the Transportation Coordination Plan. Specifically, the Transportation Plans (LRTPs), Unified Planning Work Programs (UPWPs) and Transportation Improvement Plans (TIPs) for the four MPOs and Columbia County's Transportation Coordination Plan within Region 8 were analyzed. Although most of the material was found within the LRTPs for the four MPOs, the UPWPs and TIPs had an impact on deciding which specific projects, needs and objectives found within the LRTPs were related to ITS. Information from stakeholders will continue to be added into the architecture as the update process continues.
The timeframe of ten years was chosen as a direct result of the analysis of the planning documentation described above. In general, the Long Range Transportation Plans are required to account for a planning horizon of 20 years. On the other hand, other documents analyzed such as the TIP had much shorter timeframes of five years. Because of this wide gap in the source documents' scope, ten years was selected as a middle ground that could accurately characterize the needs of the region overtime while bearing in mind the near-term projects that may directly benefit from the use of a regional ITS architecture.
The following security Policy/Statement was indicated to all stakeholders prior to their participation in the Region 8 ITS Architecture process:
"The Region 8 ITS Architecture is a public document. Any information which should not be shared and made publicly available should be indicated to New York State Department of Transportation or their consultant Drive Engineering Corp."
List of Agreements Development Process
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) require cooperation among agencies in order to operate most effectively. Sharing information and resources can help agencies to coordinate their efforts and optimize funding. Therefore, a key step towards realizing the integration shown in the regional ITS architecture is developing a list of existing and potential future ITS agreements.
To develop a list of ITS agreements for NYSDOT Region 8, a comprehensive analysis of emergency management plans, survey questionnaire responses, stakeholder conferences, and other stakeholder documentation was conducted. These documents were examined for instances where agencies were described as sharing resources, data, or funding, which may indicate an operational, intergovernmental, interagency and funding agreements.
The result of this investigation was a data repository of existing agreements that are required for operations and ITS project interoperability in NYSDOT Region 8. In addition to a brief description, the repository included information regarding the status of the agreement and associated stakeholders. It also defined the type of agreement, which varied from formal laws and memoranda of understanding to more informal handshake agreements.
The information from the data repository was then reviewed, filtered, and input into the Region 8 ITS Architecture Turbo file under the agreements tab. The majority of agreements were classified as handshake agreements because the exact type of agreement could not be confirmed with the available documentation. In the future it may be beneficial to formalize many of these handshake agreements, especially for long-term operations, in order to clearly express the details of the agreement and avoid potential conflict.
The Region 8 Intelligent Transportation Systems Architecture encompasses all of Region 8 including Ulster, Columbia, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties. These counties, with the exception of Columbia County, form four transportation councils: Ulster County Transportation Council, Orange County Transportation Council, New York Metropolitan Transportation Council and Dutchess County Transportation Council. The four Transportation Councils and the Columbia County Transportation Department's main limited access roads are I-87, I-287, I-684, I-84, and the four Parkways from the New York City area on approximately a north/south path to the general center of Region 8. NYSDOT Region 8 consists of 5,696 miles of state highways and 1,124 bridges densely packed into a 4,295 square mile area. This region surrounds and connects the largest city in the United States, New York City, to Boston, Western and Northeastern Pennsylvania, the rest of New York, New England and Canada.
Each county in Region 8 (the lower Hudson Valley region) touches New York's premier waterway, the Hudson River. This geographic position creates additional traffic on top of that already generated from its own regional commerce, which stems primarily from prominent trade routes traveling through the region and the Hudson River connecting shipping for New York City to and from Albany. Region 8 is positioned in the northern fringe of the New York / Northern New Jersey / Long Island area and the geographic center of the Boston-Washington corridor. Due to Region 8's geographic position, an updated and well-maintained ITS architecture is essential to ensure safety and efficiency of all transportation throughout Region 8.
The New York State Department of Transportation Region 8 ITS Architecture has been developed through a cooperative effort of Multi-disciplined agencies. The Architecture encompasses those ITS Services that represent the region's current operation and future vision to enhance traveler safety, multi-modal efficiency, and economic resiliency of the transportation system in the Lower Hudson Valley.