Congestion Management

Roadway Event Analysis for Florida DOT

How Florida DOT uses enriched data for traffic speeds, roadway volumes, collisions, and incidents to monitor roadways across the state

Project Overview

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) was one of the earliest adopters of Urban SDK’s platform. In those nascent years, TSM&O officials in District 2 (D2) needed a better way to understand what was happening on their roadways. Traffic was backed up near a military base in Jacksonville, Florida, presenting a potential security threat. When questioned about it, officials had to pour over spreadsheets and sift through an army of vendors to pull together a reason. A more expeditious solution was greatly needed.

In response, FDOT partnered with Urban SDK to license a platform of real-time performance measures. This solved many challenges officials faced, including needs to: streamline consistency, increase access and understanding of data, quickly share maps and reports, and make cost-effective choices. Through our work with the FDOT District, we have provided a configurable analytics tool to automate corridor analysis, standardize performance measures reporting, and streamline statewide data visualization.

By automating performance measures and analysis with access to enriched data for traffic speeds, roadway volumes, collisions, and incidents — as well as open datasets from local, state, and federal organizations — Urban SDK has eliminated FDOT’s operational data silos.

As a result, officials now better understand clearance times following incidents. They can now immediately share historical traffic hotspots and forecast safety challenges. They have, ultimately, gained a holistic view of the roadways in their jurisdiction, and are now able to more quickly able to respond to citizen concerns.

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Like many state agencies, FDOT found itself in a D.R.I.P.: Data Rich, Insight Poor. In other words, they had disparate data coming in from all angles. The raw numbers were there; however, turning them into information was the challenge.

Officials needed a way to separate the wheat from the chaff and truly understand what was happening on their roadways. Beyond clean lines of intelligence, they also wanted to have that information layered and mapped. A comprehensive, view of their roadways at any given time. This was the strategy set forth to Urban SDK by FDOT’s TSM&O team.

Working to meet the goals of FDOT officials, Urban SDK created a discovery tool known as the Event Impact Analysis Tool. The tool consists of a builder to create event reports, and a report function to publish information about the event report. The event impact analysis tool has access to location management so users can access any previously created routes in their reports.

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The results of Urban SDK’s Event Analysis Tool, opened a new world of possibilities to FDOT officials. They could select sections of a roadway or geography to monitor. They could choose enriched performance measures to display, and
then decide if multiple datasets should be layered on the map. And they could, simultaneously, view the information on data tables, graphical representations, and a GIS map — while also toggling time periods.

For the enriched data, four main areas were of focus: Speed, Volume, Incidents, and Crashes. Speed information displayed average speed, travel time, and hours below target speed, while Volume measures added average volume at a given date.

On the safety side, Incident and Crash data categorized the disruptions, provided descriptions, and noted: clearance times and durations, and whether there were any fatalities or injuries.

As a result, stakeholders have gone from a lot of data, in a lot of places, with little meaning. To a consolidated platform of information available on-demand. Ultimately, a streamlining of operations in running the roadways of Northeast Florida.