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Integrated Corridor Management
Integrated Corridor Management Newsletter – 2012

Analysis, Modeling and Simulation Results Are In—ICM Benefits Corridors

ICM benefits
outpace costs within

ICM Pioneer Site Stakeholders in Dallas, TX; Minneapolis, MN; and San Diego, CA are among the first to implement the Analysis, Modeling and Simulation (AMS) process developed through the USDOT ICM Initiative to explore the benefits of applying ICM strategies in transportation corridors.  The sites examined the effects of ICM strategies when

implemented in a truly active and integrated manner in a multimodal metropolitan corridor.  Strategies assessed included ramp metering, congestion pricing, signal optimization, transit priority, and enhanced traveler information.

AMS Results

ICM AMS Findings at the Three Pioneer Sites:

  • ICM benefits overall corridor performance—All three sites saw improvements to mobility, reliability, fuel consumption, and emissions.  ICM has the greatest impact under conditions of high demand and congestion due to severe traffic incidents.
  • Benefits outweighed system costs at all three sites within the first year.
  • ICM AMS generated improved analysis tools and methods for corridors.
  • ICM AMS positions sites for best value implementation of ICM, continuous improvement, and provides a platform for longer-term decision-support systems.

Results at all three of these ICM Pioneer sites showed that ICM improved the corridors’ mobility, reliability, and

environmental impacts.  Benefits outpaced implementation costs of ICM within the first year and continued to generate returns that far outpaced management and operations costs over the life of the system, when extrapolated in the model and factoring for inflation.  When compared to rail, bus rapid transit (BRT), and highway lane addition (i.e., capacity enhancement) projects, ICM proves to be the best “value for the money” alternative in improving traffic conditions.  Two of these sites—Dallas, TX and San Diego, CA—are preparing to demonstrate ICM in early 2013.

The ICM AMS effort also helped to advance current modeling approaches.  The AMS methodology uses up to three types of modeling tools (macro-, meso-, and micro-scopic), enabling a truly comprehensive picture of corridor operations and performance.  The FHWA has incorporated the ICM AMS approach into Volume XIII of the Traffic Analysis Toolbox.

Learn More

Two foundational guides will soon be available to help technical program managers and other stakeholders in State, regional and local transportation agencies implement ICM AMS.  The ICM Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation (AMS) Guide leads partners through each step of the ICM AMS approach developed through the USDOT’s ICM Initiative and used by the sites.  An ICM Implementation Guide has also been developed to guide transportation managers through implementation of ICM using established processes rooted in sound systems engineering principles.  Both Guides integrate the lessons learned from the ICM Pioneer Sites that followed these approaches. 

The USDOT is also preparing to pilot-test a series of two-day, peer-based knowledge and technology transfer workshops based on these Guides, to include one focused on ICM AMS.  The purpose of the workshops is to provide customized support to advance ICM in those regions with multimodal corridors that are seeking to gain maximum performance and value from existing infrastructure.  Click here to learn more about these workshops.

Visit the ICM Knowledgebase to download the AMS Executive Summary fact sheet; the executive summary of AMS results, including site-specific reports, analysis plans, and results; and other resources related to ICM AMS.

Contact Bob Sheehan, P.E. PTOE, Systems Management Team, FHWA, Office of Operations Transportation Management, (202) 366-6817, to learn more about the ICM KTT workshops or to request one for your region.

Two Implementation Guides (ICM Implementation and Analysis, Modeling and Simulation) Coming Soon to Help ICM Implementers

Two foundational guides will soon be available to help technical program managers and other stakeholders in State, regional, and local transportation agencies implement Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) with greater knowledge and confidence.  The ICM Implementation Guide and the ICM Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation (AMS) Guide lead partners through each step of the design and development of ICM systems using the approaches developed through the USDOT’s ICM Initiative and used by the ICM Pioneer Sites.  Both Guides integrate the lessons learned from the ICM Pioneer Sites that followed these approaches. 

The USDOT is also pilot testing the Guides through a two-day ICM KTT workshop series (click here to learn more about these workshops). 

“ICM provides the opportunity to proactively improve and maximize the performance of the transportation system by serving as an alternate to traditional major infrastructure investments, which may be more expensive or constrained by environmental issues.”

Alex Estrella, ICM Manager, San Diego Association of Governments

The USDOT ICM initiative is pioneering the institutional guidance, operational capabilities, performance measures, and technical methods needed for effective ICM systems. The ICM Pioneer sites had access to leading technical experts who guided them through each of these phases.  The ICM Implementation and AMS Guides aim to equip other sites around the country to succeed with ICM and benefit from the experiences of and expertise provided to the Pioneer Sites. Stakeholder panels comprised of target audience members and experts from around the country shaped both Guides to ensure they were comprehensive and practical.

Eight ICM Pioneer Sites developed detailed concepts of operation (CONOPS) and requirements for ICM systems, following a methodology rooted in the classic systems engineering process .  Three sites (I-75 in Dallas, TX, I-394 in Minneapolis, MN and I-15 in San Diego, CA) analyzed their ICM concepts to identify optimal strategies following the ICM AMS Methodology in 2011.  Dallas, TX and San Diego, CA are preparing to demonstrate their ICM systems in 2013.

Subscribe to the ICM RSS feed to be notified when the ICM Implementation and AMS Guides, and other new materials, are posted to the ICM Knowledgebase.

About the ICM Implementation Guide

The ICM Implementation Guide is designed for public-sector transportation project managers and stakeholders who wish to implement an ICM System (ICMS) in their region.  It integrates the lessons learned from the ICM Pioneer Sites to date on how to plan, develop, deploy, operate, and maintain an ICMS.  It will be continually updated with new content added as the ICM Demonstration Sites proceed through implementation and maintenance of ICM systems in 2013.  The Guide addresses both the benefits and challenges of designing, planning for, and implementing a truly integrated, cohesive transportation corridor.  It explains the ICM development and design process in a manner that can be practically applied by corridor stakeholders around the country and conveys the first-hand knowledge and experience of the ICM Pioneer Sites.

The ICM Implementation Guide is structured in a way to support the needs of agencies working with congested corridors.  It begins with an introduction, which helps readers understand the basics, including how best to use the guide for its intended purpose.  It is organized into seven “phases” of implementation, beginning with the first four already experienced by the ICM Pioneer Sites, including:  (Phase 1) Get Started, (Phase 2) Establish Goals, (Phase 3) Plan for Success, and (Phase 4) Specify and Design.  As the ICM Demonstration Sites accumulate first-hand experience with the implementation of an ICMS, the remaining three phases will be developed further:  (Phase 5) Build and Test, (Phase 6) Operate and Maintain, and (Phase 7) System Retirement/Replacement (See Figure).

The Guide provides clear directions on developing a project management plan (PMP), systems engineering management plan (SEMP), and ICM CONOPS.   Additionally, the guide describes the design of an ICMS architecture, requirements, detailed design, and other pertinent topics.

Each section begins with a brief summary of the project phase, and then each phase description is layered with the following information areas: manage for quality, resources, overview, questions to answer, lessons learned, and examples.

Bookmark the searchable, browseable ICM Knowledgebase to learn more.  Subscribe to the ICM Knowledgebase RSS feed here to be notified as new knowledge and technology transfer materials are added.

About the ICM AMS Guide

The ICM AMS Guide will benefit technical and/or program managers in transportation agencies at the State or local levels who may oversee implementation of ICM and/or ICM AMS.  The AMS Guide is also a helpful reference to all stakeholders involved in AMS, including technical modelers, by providing a framework for developing an effective analysis plan to support selection and application of available tools and models specifically conducive to ICM.

The AMS Guide provides clear, step-by-step guidance to help corridor stakeholders implement the ICM AMS methodology successfully and effectively, following the common approach used by the ICM AMS Pioneer Sites.  Lessons learned from the application of this methodology by three ICM Pioneer Sites and a test corridor are interwoven into updated guidance.

The AMS Guide presents a series of five major worksteps, each with a set of substeps one would follow in order to conduct ICM AMS (See Figure).  The Guide begins with a description of its organization and contents and moves on to review the methodology components and their value.  The Guide delineates objectives for and the value of completing each workstep and provides guidance on general timeframes, challenges, and resources recommended for each step.  Lessons learned and tips from the Pioneer Sites are interwoven, and a dedicated “Lessons Learned” section at the end of the Guide provides valuable teachings designed to improve outcomes and save implementers and stakeholders time and money.

The ICM AMS methodology is more comprehensive than traditional corridor studies, which often focus on a specific element of a corridor (i.e., a freeway).  AMS helps agencies identify the optimum combinations of ICM strategies by providing a true corridor-wide picture and saves agencies money by helping them identify strategies that will have the intended outcomes.  This is accomplished through the use of up to three classes of simulation modeling tools – macroscopic, mesoscopic, and microscopic – which permit combined analysis of regional travel patterns, specific strategies such as congestion pricing or traveler information, and localized systems such as ramp metering, respectively.

“Typical corridor studies have a fairly narrow perspective: they don’t start with the tripmaking from the point of true origin, or factor in the broad range of traveler choices that affects who shows up, when and where, in the corridor. Stakeholders may say ‘We do corridor studies all the time, why do we need AMS?’ ICM AMS is a different kind of corridor study, a comprehensive study.”

Karl Wunderlich, Senior ICM AMS Technical Advisor, Noblis

ICM AMS helps agencies:

  • Invest in the right strategies. Determine which combinations of strategies are likely to be most effective under which conditions.
  • Invest with confidence.  Identify consequences that would otherwise be unknowable before implementation.
  • Improve the effectiveness/success of implementation.  Understand in advance what questions to ask and in what level of detail.
  • Continually improve implementation of ICM based on experience.

ICM Demonstration to “Go Live” in Early 2013

Dallas, TX and San Diego, CA are preparing to demonstrate and evaluate their ICMS in early 2013.  The effort will examine the five key performance measures that are also assessed in AMS—mobility, reliability, fuel savings, emissions, and benefit-costs of ICM.  These sites are currently putting finishing touches on system design and prototyping the first ICMS in the country.  Both sites are planning to use automated decision support systems (DSS) that will integrate information on network conditions in the corridor with available response plans.  The systems will recommend multimodal ICM strategies based on pre-defined response plans operators collaboratively developed to manage demand and mitigate congestion on the network.   An independent evaluation will assess the effects of ICM on corridor performance (based on ICM performance measures), evaluate optimum combinations of ICM strategies under different operating conditions, and shed light on the role of traveler behavior in ICM.

Knowledge and technology transfer efforts will capture lessons learned about what it takes to implement ICM effectively and will share this with stakeholders across the country through updated ICM implementation and AMS Guides and other resources.

Bookmark the searchable, browseable ICM Knowledgebase to learn more.  Subscribe to the ICM RSS feed here to be notified as new knowledge and technology transfer materials are added.  

ICM Implementation Workshops Pair Well with ICM Implementation and ICM AMS Guides

The USDOT will be pilot testing four ICM implementation workshops around the country in early 2013 based on the ICM Implementation and ICM Analysis, Modeling and Simulation (AMS) Guides.  The two Guides and supporting workshops are core knowledge and technology transfer resources being made available to transportation managers and operators in regions across the country through the USDOT ICM Initiative.  The purpose of these implementation workshops is to provide hands-on facilitated assistance to stakeholders in regions interested in implementing ICM.

The highly engaging, two-day ICM Implementation Workshops consist of four workshop packages, each focusing on a different phase of ICM Implementation:

  • Get Started:  Overview of ICM and Institutional Planning;
  • Plan for Success: ICM Concept of Operations;
  • Design for Success:  Requirements; and
  • ICM Analysis Modeling and Simulation (AMS).

Each workshop is designed to be tailored to the specific needs of implementing ICM stakeholders.  A team of experts and peer implementers will work closely with each host and their stakeholders to assess their readiness to proceed with ICM by analyzing the corridor’s institutional, technical, and operational factors. We will then help determine the most fitting workshop module for each location, which will be further tailored to fit each corridor’s needs. Workshops will begin with an overview of ICM and provide an understanding of what agencies need to manage the complexity of implementation.  The ICM Implementation Guide and AMS Guide provide a strong base to support agencies’ initial steps to relieve congestion in their corridors using ICM methodologies.  As always, workshop and supporting materials will be made available in the searchable, browseable ICM Knowledgebase.

Contact Bob Sheehan, P.E. PTOE, Systems Management Team, FHWA, Office of Operations Transportation Management, (202) 366-6817, to learn more about the workshops or to request one for your region.

Recent Events:

FTA-Sponsored ICM Session Convened at ITSA Annual Meeting: May 23 – National Harbor, Maryland

ICM challenges freeway, arterial, and transit operators to break with the stove-piped thinking of the past and move toward truly integrated, multimodal corridors.  While integrating operations and technologies to improve corridor performance may be a logical next step, it is easier said than done.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) sponsored a half-day session focused on ICM at the ITSA Annual Meeting being held at National Harbor, MD, March 2012.  The session, “Integrated Corridor Management: Integrating Highway, Arterial and Transit Operations for Improved Corridor Performance,” provided an opportunity for leaders in planning, operations, ITS and engineering around the country to learn more about ICM from implementers and leaders of the USDOT ICM initiative.  Panelists and participants discussed:

  • How ICM can help you transform the performance of your region’s multimodal transportation corridors.
  • Challenges and opportunities with real-world implementers from freeway, arterial, and transit perspectives, including representatives from the two ICM Demonstration Sites.
  • What it really takes to integrate technologies and operations across modes and jurisdictions to improve corridor performance.
  • How engineers from transit, highway, and arterial operations can better coordinate their coordination needs with neighboring agencies.

Leaders of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s ICM Initiative were also on hand to present plans for the upcoming ICM Demonstration going live in San Diego, CA and Dallas, TX in 2013; to present brief results from the analysis, modeling, and simulation of three ICM Pioneer Sites; and to unveil the latest ICM knowledge and technology transfer resources, including the ICM Implementation Guide and workshop series.  Email Anna Giragosian at to receive copies of presentations from this session.

Introduction to ICM Workshop Available through RITA’s Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program

The USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is offering an Introduction to ICM Deployment outreach workshop through its Professional Capacity Building Program (PCB). To date, ITS Regional and State Chapters have hosted this workshop at the following locations:

  • June 27, 2012: Orlando, FL
  • July 10, 2012:  Las Vegas and Reno, NV
  • September 16, 2012:  Biloxi, MS
  • September 19, 2012: Detroit, MI
  • September 26, 2012:  Mesa, AZ
  • October 16, 2012:  Brooklyn, NY
  • October 29-30, 2012: Madison, WI

This introductory workshop targets transportation managers, engineers and planners within State, regional and local agencies who are interested in learning more about ICM.  Participants learn what it means to operate a multimodal corridor in a truly “integrated” fashion; how to devise strategies that are both “integrated” and “active”; how to define meaningful and measurable “corridor-level” goals and objectives; how to engage the full array of multimodal stakeholders in the vision for ICM; and are able to gain insight into each major phase of the ICM lifecycle such as the development of an ICM concept of operations and requirements, rooted in the proven systems engineering process.

This four-hour introductory workshop is based on the ICM Implementation Workshop series developed through the USDOT ICM Initiative’s Knowledge and Technology Transfer program.  The purpose of the one-and-a-half to two-day implementation workshops is to help transportation leaders implementing ICM understand their corridors’ potential, needs, and steps to take in order to utilize ICM to its fullest potential.  The PCB mini-workshop will sharpen your vision of what it means to have a truly integrated multimodal system, allow you to hear first-person perspectives from real-world implementers, and get hands-on technical and consultative assistance.

Learn More:  Contact Mac Lister, Program Manager Knowledge and Technology Transfer, Research and Innovative Technology Administration - ITS Joint Program Office, 708-283-3532.

ICM Knowledge and Technology Transfer Resources Speed Adoption

Deciding to implement ICM is a first step.  Implementing it is another matter altogether, and far more complex.  ICM is not a one-time “fix” to corridor congestion challenges.   It is a long-term commitment to a different way of doing things—it represents a major shift towards truly integrated planning and decisionmaking regarding corridor operations on day-to-day basis and with longer term planning for operations in the corridor.

As with many things in life, why stumble through when you can learn from the experiences and tips of others who have grappled with similar challenges and issues?  The same is true with the complex challenges associated with managing transportation operations in increasingly technologically equipped multimodal transportation corridors.  The ICM knowledge and technology transfer (KTT) initiative has shadowed the eight ICM Pioneer Sites since they first embarked on ICM, capturing the questions, challenges and lessons learned along the way from the people actually doing the hard work of securing partner agreements to implement ICM; building stakeholder consensus around ICM concepts of operations; hammering out requirements; and, most recently, breaking ground on initial ICM systems design.

This treasure trove of insights—what approaches worked well, what worked less well and why—are woven into the fabric of ICM KTT resources, including the ICM Implementation Guide and the ICM AMS Guide.  These foundational resources anchor the array of other KTT resources available now such as examples of documents developed by the Pioneer Sites across the different phases of the ICM Lifecycle; and those coming online in 2012 including ICM KTT Workshops and Information Briefs.  Fact sheets and articles in industry publications and the periodic ICM Newsletter provide a strategic picture of ICM for executive and general interest audiences.

The following array of ICM KTT resources are available now (or very soon will be) to assist State and local transportation leaders across the country interested in managing congestion in crowded corridors.  Review or download them now in the ICM Knowledgebase to get started or go further with ICM.

Available Now (Search or Browse the ICM Knowledgebase to download):

  • Studies and Reports
  • Example/Model Documents from the ICM Pioneer Sites, including Concepts of Operation and Requirements; Analysis, Modeling and Simulation Plans; and System Design documents
  • Fact Sheets
  • Articles
  • Presentations

Coming Soon:

ICM and Operations Information Briefs Coming Soon

A set of visual information briefs will soon complement other ICM Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) products.  The information briefs describe the benefits of ICM relative to transportation operations areas such as traffic incident management (TIM), freight, and active traffic and demand management (ATDM).  Each informational brief focuses on a different relationship between ICM and transportation operations.  The information briefs will be available to transportation managers through the ICM Knowledgebase.

  • ICM and TIM:  Analysis shows that the benefits of ICM are greatest under incident conditions, underscoring the natural relationship between effective TIM programs and ICM.  This brief focuses on traffic incident management (TIM) services within the combined ICM operations for a corridor.  It outlines affordable steps corridor managers can take to gain even more value out of existing TIM programs with ICM. 
  • ICM and Freight:  ICM strategies that ease congestion along metropolitan corridors improve the movement of people and freight.  Our Nation’s busiest freight corridors run through our Nation’s busiest metropolitan areas, where trucks share available freeway and arterial roadways with commuters and leisure travelers.  Analysis shows that ICM benefits reliability, mobility, and emissions, and benefits become even more important with big rigs carrying time-sensitive freight to consumers.  More than 700 million tons of freight travel by truck annually on our Nation’s roadways, and these volumes are projected to nearly triple by 2040. With travel time reliability topping the list of shipper concerns, this information brief showcases the valuable economic benefits of ICM in improving freight movement through metropolitan corridors.
  • ICM and Active Transportation Management:  Transportation management strategies can be active or integrated, and ideally they are increasingly both.  Active management strategies, such as hard shoulder running, are implemented dynamically to manage demand in response to conditions along a roadway.  Integrated management strategies seek to manage demand across a multimodal transportation network within a transportation corridor.  This information brief highlights how two corridors in San Diego, CA and Dallas, TX (ICM Demonstration Sites) will serve as a proving ground for active transportation management strategies integrated across a corridor.

The USDOT ICM Initiative is jointly sponsored by the Research and Innovative Technology Administration’s (RITA) Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Programs Office (ITS JPO), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  Visit the USDOT’s ICM Website ( to learn more about ICM.  Search or browse the ICM Knowledgebase to obtain fact sheets, newsletters and technical documents from the Pioneer Sites.

Feedback freight carriers and shippers across the country in FHWA-sponsored freight peer exchanges conducted in 2011.



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