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Appendix C Amplifying Questions

The continued growth in travel along congested urban freeway corridors is exceeding the ability of transportation agencies to provide sufficient roadway capacity in major metropolitan areas with limited public funding for roadway expansion and improvement projects. High construction costs, constrained right-of-way, and environmental factors are pushing agencies to explore context-sensitive solutions, such as managed lanes, to mitigate the detrimental effects of congestion while optimizing the use of limited public funding.

The purpose of this scan is to examine the congestion management programs, policies, and experiences of other countries that are planning, have implemented, or are operating managed lanes on freeway facilities. This scan will seek information on how agencies approach highway congestion and how they plan for and design managed lanes at the system, corridor, and project or facility levels.

Managed lanes are defined as highway facilities or a set of lanes in which operational strategies are implemented and managed (in real time) in response to changing conditions to preserve unimpeded flow. They are distinguished from traditional lane management strategies in that they are proactively implemented and managed and may involve using more than one operational strategy.

Approach to Highway Congestion

The questions in this section are targeted to learn how European agencies define and address congestion. How are congested roadway facilities considered in establishing, prioritizing, and funding initiatives to enhance the condition (e.g., pavement, bridges) and performance (e.g., remove bottlenecks, add capacity, manage traffic) of these facilities? What aspect of an organization's strategic planning, infrastructure investments, and operational strategies are considered to address these congested facilities?

  1. How do you define congestion? Do you have a congestion level threshold to determine whether a roadway is deficient? If so, what is that threshold?
  2. What performance measures do you use to assess congestion?
  3. What tools, methods, techniques, and/or modes are used to forecast travel demand and analyze and evaluate surface transportation investments? Are these tools used at the country, regional, or corridor level?
  4. Do you have a systematic process to evaluate and monitor surface transportation investments for addressing congestion? What is the process?
  5. What is the priority of congestion improvements in relation to other issues (i.e., safety, roadway improvements/maintenance, security) in your surface transportation plan? What is the process or procedure in projects/alternatives prioritization?
  6. What is your long-range vision for surface transportation? Which agency develops the long-range vision and plan? What role do congestion improvement strategies play in moving the surface transportation system toward that vision?

Approach to Managed Lanes

The following questions focus on the agency's approach to managing the transportation supply using the managed lane concept.

  1. What managed lane facilities are (1) in your strategic plans, (2) in development, or (3) currently operating?
  2. Where did the concept of implementing managed lanes originate? Who provided the leadership to advance the concept? Who is responsible for planning, designing, constructing, and operating the managed lane facility? What was unique about these particular corridors and projects that the managed lane concept and strategies are being applied?
  3. What other congestion management strategies are often planned and implemented in association with managed lanes? If managed lanes have not been planned or implemented, what other strategies are applied?
  4. Is carpooling promoted on any managed lanes through access, eligibility, or pricing incentives?
  5. What objectives and performance measures have been developed for managed lane facilities? What models have you used to predict managed lane performance? Have you validated these models with real operating data?
  6. How are operational strategies and facility performance integrated into the planning for and design of the managed lane facility?
  7. What techniques and approaches have you used to estimate the demand for different types of managed lane operational strategies or facilities? What assumptions were made relating to shifts in traffic patterns (e.g., trips attracted to managed lane from adjoining lanes, other facilities, other modes) in the planning process? What shifts in traffic patterns have you realized?
  8. What operational strategies of managed lanes (access control, vehicle eligibility, and pricing) have you implemented? Do you vary or allow tolls to dynamically change based on traffic demand or roadway conditions (e.g., congestion)? Do you charge a flat fee to use the managed lane or does the fee change based on distance traveled? For dynamic pricing strategy, how are changes in the toll to be charged for using the facility conveyed to the driver?
  9. How do you balance (compromise) between designing for safety and designing for mobility? Are you making design decisions that may impact safety and mobility differently?
  10. What is your experience with implementing managed lanes in an existing roadway facility? What impact have these facilities had on performance (e.g., mobility, safety)?
  11. Has your agency developed any design standards or recommended practices relating to the geometric design of managed lane facilities? Has your agency initiated or conducted any research in support of developing managed lane-related design standards or guidance?
  12. What are the major safety issues to consider when planning and design managed lane facilities? Are there any design provisions for incident management or for enforcement?
  13. What technical and institutional barriers/challenges did the agency face? How were they overcome?
  14. What techniques have been used to integrate transit (e.g., direct access ramps, transit stations, park-and-ride facilities) into various types of managed lane facilities that your agency has implemented or is planning?
  15. How is the day-to-day operation of managed lanes being monitored? How are you evaluating its performance? Are you able to identify the impact or performance of specific traffic management or control strategies (e.g., different speed limits during periods of the day, restricting access)?
  16. What tools, methods, techniques, and/or models are used to estimate managed lane benefits? Have you conducted any validation of the planning and/or simulation models with real experience results and "after implementation" data?
  17. How is enforcement being performed? Is any dedicated enforcement provided specific to managed lanes? Are you considering different technologies or strategies to support different managed lane operational strategies (e.g., occupancy, trucks only, pricing, speed)?
  18. What role has technology (i.e., electronic tolling, variable speed limits, and automated enforcement) played in the implementation of managed lanes?
  19. What tools and methods of communication have been used to educate and promote the managed lane concept to the public and decisionmakers? How is public perception measured?
  20. What role has the media played in public and political perceptions? What issues have decisionmakers raised and how have these been addressed?
  21. What are the funding sources for planning, designing, and implementing managed lane facilities? How are the day-to-day management and operation of these facilities funded?
  22. What laws and regulations have been used to support the pursuit of private financing or partnerships to implement and sustain the ongoing operation of managed lanes? What are the key provisions that have been included in agreements with the private sector in support of managed lanes? What are the financial and operational limits of your organization for these partnerships?
  23. What are your overall experiences in managed lanes? Please provide your successes and lessons- learned experiences. What is your future vision?
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