Smarter Work Zones and Work Zone Activity Data, Truck Safety in Work Zones, and more

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Quarterly Newsletter - Summer 2019

Applying Smarter Work Zones and Work Zone Activity Data in Phoenix, Arizona

On July 9, the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Work Zone Data Initiative (WZDI) brought together peers from across the country to learn more about managing work zone activity data using smarter work zone technologies. 

Hosted by the Arizona and Maricopa County Departments of Transportation (DOTs), this 1.5 day peer exchange and demonstration site visit provided over 40 participants with information on gathering, analyzing, and sharing work zone activity data. Several agencies shared their experiences, including Arizona DOT, Iowa DOT, Maricopa County DOT, Michigan DOT, Minnesota DOT, Oregon DOT, and Washington State DOT.

Panel discussions around the current state of the practice were also held with participants from Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Montana, and Wisconsin. There was also a lively discussion on the current challenges and future plans for agencies across the country.

Participants board a Valley Metro Transit Bus headed to the MC-85 Corridor to view regional efforts incorporating connected vehicle and smart technologies into area work zones.

On the second day, several events provided real-world examples of work zones in action. This included a visit to the MC-85 corridor which hosts two work zone pilots – Arizona’s Connected Vehicle Pilot and MCDOT’s Arterial Work Zone Pilot. The group also viewed demonstrations of smart roadside technology and an example of autonomous vehicle technology and software for gathering information on work zones.

➜ For more information, check out the Work Zone Data Initiative website and factsheet.

➜ Interested in participating in a peer exchange? Contact Todd Peterson, Work Zone Data Initiative Project Manager.

Working to Enhance Truck Safety in Work Zones

On July 17, FHWA hosted a workshop on Enhancing Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Safety in Work Zones in Arlington, Texas. 

The workshop brought together invitees from FHWA, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), several state DOTs, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the American Traffic Safety Services Administration, American Trucking Associations, and other stakeholders to identify, discuss, and evaluate strategies to improve the safety of CMVs in work zones. 

A targeted action plan that can be used by state DOTs and other stakeholders to enhance CMV safety in work zones will be developed from the information gleaned during the workshop. 

➜ Find more information, contact Martha Kapitanov, FHWA Work Zone Management Team Transportation Specialist.

Work Zone Data Working Group

On July 25, the Work Zone Data Working Group (WZDWG) – chartered under the Federal Geographic Data Committee Transportation Subcommittee – had its kickoff meeting.

The WZDWG has been established to extend the U.S. Road Specification with a Work Zone Data Specification, incorporating information on work zone activity in planning, real-time, and historical operational contexts. This effort builds on the operational data framework established through FHWA's WZDI, and further advanced through the functional open-data sharing platform facilitated by the Work Zone Data Exchange (WZDx).

This working group is open to federal, state, local, tribal, academic, and private agencies, organizations, and institutions. Members are expected to be active in the development and application of policies related to the creation, publication, consumption, mapping, and analysis of work zone activity data within their community.

Currently, the WZDWG’s foremost priority is standards development and establishing a version 2.0 of the Work Zone Data Specification for increased adoption by end-users.

➜ For more information, check out the GitHub page or contact Ariel Gold, WZDx project co-lead.


NEW: Work Zone Crashes and Injuries Data Available

NHTSA’s 2017 work zone crash and injury data is now available on the National Work Zone Information Clearinghouse.

➜ Check out the new data here.

Work Zone Resources

Utilizing Probe-Vehicle Data for Work Zone Mobility Performance Management. Describes the Virginia DOT's use of probe-vehicle-based performance measures to estimate work zone related delay and queuing at the State, district, corridor, and project levels.

➜ To view the publication, click here

Transportation Management Plans. This new web page includes resources related to Transportation Management Plans (TMP). Access information on developing TMPs for work zones, including a checklist of potential components, mitigation strategies, public information and outreach strategies, examples, and notable practices.

➜ To view the website, click here

Work Zone Activity Data Needs and Opportunities Report. Includes a compilation of current practices and an assessment of user needs for a significant number of existing and potential uses of work zone activity data. 

➜ To access the report, click here.

Work Zone Data Initiative Framework. Describes a framework to assist transportation agencies and the broad work zone stakeholder community in establishing a standard and consistent approach for collecting, organizing, and disseminating work zone activity data.

➜ To access the framework, click here.

Work Zone Data Dictionary. Describes the methodology and components included within work zone activity data.

➜ To access the dictionary, click here.

Work Zone Data Exchange Specification. Version 1.1 is publicly available for data producers to stand up data feeds.

➜ To access the specification, click here.

➜ For more information on the project, to set up or ingest a feed, and/or to provide feedback on the specification, click here.

➜ For more information, contact Ariel Gold or Todd Peterson, WZDx project co-leads.

Recent Events

Work Zone Data Initiative Workshop. August 1, 2019 (Denver, CO). Colorado DOT (CDOT) hosted a one-day workshop in which CDOT participants worked with FHWA to identify priority use cases and business processes for work zone activity data within their agency.

➜ For more information, check out the Work Zone Data Initiative website.

➜ To conduct a workshop in your region, contact Todd Peterson, FHWA Work Zone Management Team Transportation Specialist.

Webinar: Best Practices in Work Zone Performance Management. June 3, 2019. Webinar attendees learned about innovative approaches being implemented for mainstreaming work zone performance management into transportation agencies’ standard policies and procedures.

➜ The webinar recording is available here and the presentation materials are available here

Work Zone Data Initiative

FHWA’s WZDI is an effort to enable easier sharing and application of work zone activity data across the country. Click here for more information including access to guidance documents, fact sheets, and other resources.

Smarter Work Zones

Transportation agencies can now access the final report for the Smarter Work Zones initiative. Other resources, related publications, case studies, tools, and webinars are also available here.