Virtual Public Involvement Peer Exchanges and Video Case Studies

 

Early, effective, and continuous public involvement brings diverse viewpoints and values into the decision-making process. Transportation agencies can increase meaningful public involvement in planning and project development by integrating virtual tools into their overall public involvement approach.  Public involvement tools and practices have expanded and shifted dramatically over the past decade due to changes in communications, technology, and lifestyles.  Transportation professionals cannot expect the public to come to the transportation agency's events; practitioners must reach them in their everyday lives–online, at home, and in chosen gathering spaces.

 

RECENT WEBINARS.  FHWA has been holding webinars on VPI topics:

 

CASE STUDIES.  FHWA has developed video case studies that highlight how transportation agencies are using virtual public involvement tools and techniques.  This video series features short conversations with professionals involved in virtual public involvement efforts at their respective agencies.  Agencies and topics featured in the Case Studies video are listed below.

WORKSHOPS. FHWA has been hosting in-person and online peer exchange workshops to provide a forum for sharing VPI strategies and practices. These peer exchanges bring experienced and less-experienced peers together to present and discuss their approaches to using specific VPI strategies.  Various topics have touched upon project visualizations, online meetings, engaging traditionally underserved populations, and crowdsourcing approaches. The FHWA typically provides workshop summary reports, recordings, and other resources for each event.

 

 

Targeted Overlay Payment Solutions (TOPS): NJDOT Example Featured

This article first appeared in the FHWA’s EDC News Weekly Newsletter of August 26th, 2021 and featured NJDOT’s application of high performance thin overlays (HPTO) as a pavement preservation tool.

Targeted Overlay Pavement Solutions

Last week, we discussed a case study involving bonded concrete overlays, part of the Targeted Overlay Pavement Solutions (TOPS) toolbox. This week, we’ll look at how New Jersey has used high performance thin overlays (HPTO) successfully as a pavement preservation tool.

Since 2015, NJDOT has used HPTO on more than 1,000 lane miles to seal pavement and improve ride quality. Benefits include short road closures reducing impact on traffic, and addition of approximately 10 years of service life. Timing of the application is crucial. A Rutgers University study found applying HPTO to pavements while they are still in “good” condition more than doubles the service life compared to applying the product to pavements in “fair” condition.

Contractors who construct NJDOT projects have not reported constructability issues or complaints about the mix. NJDOT believes including performance requirements for the mixture, understanding treatment selection and application timing, and requiring project engineers to approve specifications are key factors in the success of HPTO as a pavement preservation tool.

Based on this research and evaluation of projects to date, NJDOT considers HPTO a cost-effective solution that provides a safe, smooth, crack and rut resistant surface that extends the life of the pavement and causes minimal impact on the road users and environment during construction.

Launching the UAS Program: STIC Incentive Funding Grant – Final Report

Click for report

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones, were promoted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as one of the Every Day Counts Round 5 (EDC-5) innovations. In 2017, the NJDOT Bureau of Aeronautics applied for and received a NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Incentive Program Funding grant to purchase equipment and provide training to evaluate the use of UAS for applications within NJDOT. Prior research had determined that this innovative technology could improve safety and efficiency and reduce costs.

The final report, Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS): Purchase and Training, describes the use of the STIC funding to assist in establishing the UAS program within the Bureau of Aeronautics.  The report describes the training curriculum and two use cases — high mast inspection and traffic incident management — and offers lessons learned and best practices.

The STIC grant, in combination with two other grants, enabled the Bureau to advance UAS within NJDOT. The innovation is now considered institutionalized within the agency.  A video, Drone Technology at NJDOT, highlights the efforts to launch and integrate UAS in NJDOT operations.

FHWA offers up to $100,000 to each STIC each year. You can find out more about the STIC Incentive Program here.

Ultra-High Performance Concrete for Bridge Preservation and Repair: NJDOT Example Featured

This article first appeared in the FHWA’s EDC News Weekly Newsletter of April 29th, 2021 and featured how NJDOT has applied UHPC for bridge preservation and repair.

In the final week, we’ll highlight the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), which has recently used UHPC in multiple projects for bridge P&R.

NJDOT was familiar with the benefits of UHPC compared to conventional concrete through its use in field cast connections for precast bridge decks for re-decking projects. NJDOT had been looking for a new overlay preservation system for aging bridge decks that would enhance and extend the service life of their existing structures. However, the NJDOT had not used UHPC as a bridge deck overlay. NJDOT decided to install three UHPC bridge deck overlays as part of a research project contract. One of these projects, which was completed on a bridge spanning the Newark Turnpike, included both a UHPC bridge deck overlay and field-cast UHPC joint headers.

This curved 3-span bridge, originally built in 1979, feeds nearly 30,000 vehicles per day from the New Jersey Turnpike onto I–280. The heavy traffic and the impact of de-icing salts resulted in corrosion of the reinforcing steel in the existing bridge deck, as well as the deterioration of all abutment and pier expansion joints.

Prior to installation of the UHPC overlay and field cast UHPC headers, the existing asphalt overlay was removed, as were the deteriorated expansion joints. A new UHPC header expansion joint solution was installed, and after installation the finished UHPC overlay was covered with asphalt. The resulting 340-foot UHPC overlay is currently the longest continuous overlay installation in North America.

The overlay and the other two installations included in the project showed that preserving bridge decks with a UHPC overlay will provide NJDOT with durable, long-lasting bridge decks and will extend the service life of the structures. Additionally, the bridge overlays showed that UHPC overlay construction methods can minimize traffic interruptions and shorten the total construction time.

Developing Next Generation Traffic Incident Management in the Delaware Valley

Traffic Incident Management (TIM) programs help first responders and traffic operators to better understand and coordinate roadway incidents. As part of the sixth round of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative, the agency is promoting innovative practice in this area through NextGen TIM. These practices and procedures can advance safety, increase travel reliability, and improve agency operations by engaging with new technologies and trainings. For example, sensors and crowdsourced data can help traffic agencies better detect incidents and decrease response times. Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) can help transportation agencies and first responders better understand the incident scene and speed the resumption of traffic flow. The NextGen TIM initiative is an effort to improve traffic incident management through technological innovation and standardized operating procedures. NextGen TIM technologies and practices are currently being used in the Delaware Valley to increase real-time situational awareness and ensure maximum safety at the scene of an incident.

Regional Integrated Multimodal Information Sharing (RIMIS)

Image of RIMIS Operational Tool, which is a map of the DVRPC region, with Philadelphia at the center, and portions of New Jersey to the east, and Pennsylvania to the West, highway routes are marked in green and yellow, yellow denoting slower than usual operations, orange construction worker signals denote construction along the corridor, many of them are clustered aroudn Philadelphia.

The RIMIS Operational Tool gives a system-wide overview of traffic operations, such as incidents, traffic flow, and construction alerts, courtesy DVRPC

Currently, transportation departments in the region use the TRANSCOM traffic monitoring platform to supervise incidents. The Delaware Valley Planning Commission (DVRPC)’s version of this platform is called RIMIS, or Regional Integrated Multimodal Information Sharing. Because DVRPC is a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) that spans both sides of the Delaware River, its reach includes sections of New Jersey and Pennsylvania—broadly, the greater Philadelphia area. In this region, with overlapping municipal, state, and regional jurisdictions, communication and coordination could be difficult. According to Christopher King, Manager of DVRPC’s Office of Transportation Operations Management, before RIMIS, incident notifications were commonly communicated through phone calls.

Area transportation officials recognized the need for a coordinated platform where information could be shared back and forth. Instead of slow, one-to-one incident notifications, this new, decentralized platform would present a “big picture” perspective of a traffic incident’s impacts on the regional transportation network. The concept was to create a regional centralized information location for traffic operators and first responders to view the traffic status on area roads, and understand, quickly and reliably, where an incident has occurred. Local agencies could access the platform to better understand incident conditions.

Image of 16 video feeds, each of a different stretch of highway, a video wall for traffic operations monitoring.

The RIMIS Video Wall allows for real-time roadway monitoring for first responders and traffic operations personnel, courtesy DVRPC

RIMIS was first developed nearly 20 years ago, and has proved to be invaluable as a resource. Participants supply data, such as video feeds and traffic updates, which is then aggregated to update other members. These agencies include PennDOT, NJDOT, SEPTA, and NJ TRANSIT. Member agencies and municipalities, such as Bedminster Township, PA, can take advantage of the operations database, with live and historical traffic flow and incident data, a situational map which geographically represents traffic levels and incidents across the region, and a video wall of roads in the DVRPC area with live camera feeds.

As an example, Mr. King showed a municipal fire department participating in RIMIS, that, once alerted that a collision has occurred, can access the platform’s interactive map, live video feeds, and information on planned interruptions, to better understand the scene before arriving there. The RIMIS platform gives context to first responders on route to an incident, provides a broader view for traffic operations dispatchers managing a disruption, and also assists transportation planners looking for data on how to improve a high-collision roadway.

Interactive Detour Route Mapping (IDRuM)

Image of a map of Philadelphia, with highway routes in orange, delineated into sections. Each section, when clicked on, shows two detour routes in the event of a serious incident.

IDRuM is a detour resource for rerouting traffic after major incidents, courtesy DVRPC

Another TIM tool DVRPC provides is the Interactive Detour Route Mapping (IDRuM) feature, a web application that consolidates established Emergency Detour Routes as a resource for traffic operations personnel, first responders, and transportation planners and engineers.

If, for example, an incident has occurred on a certain segment of I-295 in Bucks County, then the Primary Detour Route would involve taking Taylorsville Road south and turning right on State Route 322 to rejoin the highway, while the Secondary Detour Route would take a similar maneuver going north. This information can be easily accessed in both interactive and PDF formats on the IDRuM mapping site.

Image of two detour routes from I-295, one goes on a road to the north and then southeast to rejoin the highway, the other to the south and then northwest.

DVRPC is currently beta testing detour routes from NJDOT for the IDRuM platform, courtesy DVRPC

DVRPC is currently working to integrate NJDOT’s designated Detour Routes into the GIS map for the area east of the Delaware. The data has been uploaded, but is still in beta testing.

NextGen TIM

Mr. King says that a chief focus of NextGen TIM is to expand services such as RIMIS and IDRuM to more localities and arterial routes, as well as to ensure that all first responders are trained in the most up-to-date TIM techniques, such as how to position their vehicles for maximum safety on an active roadway.

During the second round of the Every Day Counts Initiative (EDC-2, 2013-2014),  a TIM process and training program was established under the  SHRP2, or the second Strategic Highway Research Program. This laid the groundwork for the current TIM training and organizational infrastructure, which is NJTIM in the Garden State. This consortium, spearheaded by NJDOT, provides resources and trainings to teach best practices to first responders across the state. NJDOT and the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) partner together to promote trainings and coordinate highway emergency response. To learn more about NJDOT’s efforts with regards to partnering with NJSP on crash data consolidation, using Unmanned Aerial Systems for incident analysis, and other aspects of the initiative, please visit NJDOT Tech Transfer’s NextGen TIM page.


Resources

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Interactive Detour Route Mapping (IDRuM). https://www.dvrpc.org/transportation/tsmo/idrum

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Regional Integrated Multimodal Information Sharing (RIMIS). https://www.dvrpc.org/Transportation/TSMO/RIMIS/

New Jersey Department of Transportation. Statewide Traffic Incident Management Program. https://www.nj.gov/transportation/commuter/motoristassistance/stimp.shtm

New Jersey Traffic Incident Management. Traffic Incident Management Resource Portal. http://www.njtim.org/NJTIM/

Image is of two construction workers in neon vests sitting on a platform above freshly poured concrete, which they are working on treating.

FHWA Issues EDC-5 Final Report and EDC-6 Baseline Report

The FHWA has issued a Final Report for Round 5 of the Every Day Counts Initiative (EDC-5), and a Baseline Report for EDC-6. The reports demonstrate completed and preliminary progress on implementation of selected innovations, such as Crowdsourcing for Advancing Operations and e-Ticketing.

Since the advent of the program in 2009, FHWA has worked to standardize innovation as an industry practice. For EDC-5, which took place from 2019-2020, FHWA reports that state agencies accomplished 98 percent of their implementation goalsthe highest success rate since EDC began. The vast majority of innovative ideas have been demonstrated, assessed (in preparation for deployment), or institutionalized by the state agency.

NJDOT is committed to supporting this initiative, which is administered on a state-by-state basis. The New Jersey Strategic Innovation Council (NJSTIC), is comprised of various stakeholders, including representatives from NJDOT, universities, municipalities, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and counties. NJ STIC meets quarterly to discuss new innovations and progress on initiatives. More information about NJ STIC can be found here.

To learn more about past projects and progress on current EDC initiatives in the region, please visit our Innovative Initiatives page.

The two reports may be viewed below, or on FHWA's website: EDC-5 Final Report, EDC-6 Baseline Report.

Image Reads: Every Day Counts: Innovation for a Nation on the Move, EDC-5 Final Report, April 2021

Image Reads: Every Day Counts, Innovation for a Nation on the Move, EDC-6 Summit Summary and Baseline Report, May 2021

Next-Generation TIM: Integrating Technology, Data, and Training

What is Next-Generation TIM: Integrating Technology, Data, and Training?

New methods for improving Traffic Incident Management (TIM) programs aim to increase traveler and responder safety and improve trip reliability and commerce movement on all roadways.

Over 6 million reportable crashes occur every year in the United States. Each crash places responders and motorists at risk of secondary crashes while having a severe impact on congestion. New tools, data, and training mechanisms can be used to improve safety and reduce clearance times at roadway crashes. New and existing TIM programs, including those for local agencies and off-interstate applications, will benefit from using enhanced TIM practices on all roadways to save lives, time, and money.

A New Generation of TIM

While the FHWA's national TIM responder training program successfully trained almost 500,000 responders to clear incidents collaboratively, safely, and quickly, it was largely focused on agencies that respond on interstates and high-speed roadways. Next-generation (NextGen) TIM increases the focus on local agency TIM programs while integrating new and emerging technology, tools, and training to improve incident detection and reduce safety response and clearance times on all roadways.

Traditionally, transportation agencies capture incidents (crashes, roadway debris, stalled vehicles on mainlines, etc.) where sensor technologies are installed, where safety service patrols are present, or when contacted by public safety/law enforcement agencies. NextGen TIM significantly expands this capacity. It enables agencies to improve TIM strategies by implementing new options such as back-of-queue warning, navigation-app notification of active responders in the vicinity, notification-based incident detection using crowdsourced data, and more.

By using NextGen TIM methods, State and local agencies can increase traveler and responder safety, improve trip reliability and commerce movement, and enable responder communities to focus more resources on other pressing citizen needs.

Benefits

Increased Safety. NextGen TIM targets advances in safety through engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency services to help keep responders, drivers, and pedestrians safe across freeway, arterial, and multimodal travel.

Improved Travel Times. Training, data, and technology combine to help local and State agencies reduce secondary crashes and clearance times, improving trip reliability and increasing motorists' awareness of active responders along their travel routes.

Improved Operations. Integrating new and emerging technology, tools, and training can improve incident mitigation and safety throughout the whole TIM timeline, from incident detection to clearance on all roadways.

Learn more about this EDC-6 Innovation.

How NJ Incorporates NextGen Traffic Incident Management (TIM)

Stage of Innovation:
DEVELOPMENT
(December 2022)

Research. NJDOT is coordinating with State Police to determine communications that will be shared with Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) integration. NJDOT is also working to establish radio channels to enable coordinated DOT and law enforcement communications at incident sites.

Training. NJDOT is actively working towards achieving participation by all local agencies in the NJDOT established statewide TIM training course.

Building Support. DVRPC area-generated incident management task forces can serve as models for creation of similar diverse stakeholder task forces in other regions. NJDOT is also looking to build partnerships with media to facilitate TIM communications.

What’s Next?

For the EDC-6 initiative, the NJDOT initially wanted to focus on CAD integration as one of the major activities in support of the TIM strategic plan. As a result of NJ State Police's decision to change their CAD technology, the NJDOT is revising their approach for EDC-6 NextGen TIM.

NJDOT is continuing to coordinate with the NJIT ITS Resource Center to deploy HAAS Alert technology on NJDOT's Safety Service Patrol vehicles. The responder-to-vehicle alert application will deliver incident alerts to the motorists (i.e. phone apps) for their situational awareness when approaching a stopped SSP vehicle assisting stranded motorists to assist in reducing speed and collision.

The NJSP statewide CAD system (Motorola FLEX) is currently being re-evaluated. The NJDOT will continue to maintain the existing working group/team comprising staff from the Mobility Operations, Mobility Planning/Research, and NJIT ITS Resource Center to provide coordination and strategic planning for the CAD integration project.

 

 

Next-Generation TIM: Integrating Technology, Data, and Training: NEW & NOTEWORTHY

NJDOT Traffic Incident Management Training Course – Now Available Online as Self-Guided Course

NJDOT Traffic Incident Management Training Course – Now Available Online as Self-Guided Course

NJDOT's Traffic Incident Management training is now available as an online, self-guided course. Bringing first responder training program to online platform should make it ...
Talking TIM Webinar Series (TIM) Webinar Series

Talking TIM Webinar Series (TIM) Webinar Series

A series of FHWA-hosted webinars spotlights ongoing NextGen TIM implementations and best practices. ...
Innovation Spotlight: Testing and Deploying ITS Solutions for Safer Mobility and Operations

Innovation Spotlight: Testing and Deploying ITS Solutions for Safer Mobility and Operations

We spoke with Sue Catlett from NJDOT's Transportation Mobility, Planning and Research Group to get an update on Crowdsourcing, Weather Responsive Management and Traffic Incident ...
Developing Next Generation Traffic Incident Management in the Delaware Valley

Developing Next Generation Traffic Incident Management in the Delaware Valley

DVRPC's Traffic Incident Monitoring (TIM) platform provides system-wide traffic operators, first responders, and highway planners. ...
Final Report Released for the Connected Vehicles Program Pilot Testing of Technology for Distributing Road Service Safety Messages from Safety Service Patrols

Final Report Released for the Connected Vehicles Program Pilot Testing of Technology for Distributing Road Service Safety Messages from Safety Service Patrols

NJDOT’s top priority is to improve highway safety. To support this goal, in September 2018, New Jersey began a pilot study of the effectiveness of ...
Connected Vehicles Program Pilot Testing of Technology for Safety Service Patrol Workers Continues

Connected Vehicles Program Pilot Testing of Technology for Safety Service Patrol Workers Continues

The pilot study continues to examine the effectiveness of connected vehicle technology to alert motorists to Safety Service Patrol (SSP) workers at an incident site. ...
New Jersey Pilots Connected Vehicles Program  to Protect Safety Service Patrol Staff

New Jersey Pilots Connected Vehicles Program to Protect Safety Service Patrol Staff

This study will examine the effectiveness of connected vehicle technology to alert motorists to Safety Service Patrol (SSP) workers at an incident site. ...

e-Ticketing

Implementing e-Ticketing, and the related practice of using digital as-builts, into project delivery enhances safety, quality, and cost savings by improving the accessibility of project data.

Highway construction projects produce massive amounts of valuable data. Historically, information such as materials tickets and as-built plans were communicated via paper. Today's transportation agencies are improving on these paper processes by integrating them into electronic and digital workflows. Electronic ticketing (e-Ticketing) improves the tracking, exchange, and archiving of materials tickets. Digital information, such as 3D design models and other metadata, can enhance the value of contract documents and the future usability of the as-built plans for operations, maintenance, and asset management. Both can increase project safety and quality through efficient data gathering and sharing.

What is e-Ticketing?

Providing all stakeholders with an electronic means to produce, transmit, and share materials data and track and verify materials deliveries enhances safety, streamlines inspections, and improves contract administration processing. Using electronic ticket (e-Ticket) exchanges enables access via mobile devices and simplifies handling and integration of material data into construction management systems for acceptance, payment, and source documentation.

Benefits

Safety. e-Ticketing enhances data collection while reducing exposure to adjacent vehicular traffic and construction equipment for inspectors and work crews while retrieving paper tickets.

Time Savings. Real-time access, via electronic handling of tickets, reduces processing time for quality assurance and payment, decreasing the inherent delays in paper-based project administration.

Quality. Project documentation is more consistent and efficient using e-Ticketing platforms. Standardized data enables archiving for future reference, leading to improved design, construction, maintenance, and operations.

Learn more about this EDC-6 Innovation.

How NJ Incorporates e-Ticketing

Stage of Innovation:
DEVELOPMENT
(December 2022)

New Jersey has taken several steps to advance its use of e-Ticketing and to encourage its partners to adopt its use.

Research. NJDOT has collected and reviewed information, guidance, research, and best practices on the implementation and use of e-Ticketing techniques.

Training. NJDOT has participated in e-Ticketing trainings, peer exchanges, and workshops.

Building Support. NJDOT is working with internal and external partners, stakeholders, and vendors to advance the use of e-Ticketing. The agency has also identified individuals for an implementation team.

What’s Next?

A NJDOT e-Ticketing working group was formed that will work to advance this innovation by pursuing tasks including seeking guidance from other state DOTs on their e-Ticketing related interactions with vendors and procedures and policies. The working group is at the stage in the process where a "Project Intake Process" and "Project Risk and Complexity Assessment Tool" is being developed.  The team in place includes a designated individual assigned as the lead following completion of a procurement process.

The working group is coordinating with the DOT for preparation and submission of Logical SAR (System Architecture Review) documents which are required to select an e-ticketing Vendor and the necessary software.

e-Ticketing: NEW & NOTEWORTHY 

 

Crowdsourcing for Advancing Operations

What is Crowdsourcing for Advancing Operations?

Crowdsourcing is focused on employing the collective experience of a number of people to manage a process. Crowdsourced data can be obtained whenever and wherever people travel, allowing agencies to capture in real time what happens between sensors, in rural regions, along arterials, and beyond jurisdictional boundaries. Agencies at all levels can use crowdsourced data integrated from multiple streams to optimize roadway use for reduced congestion and increased safety and reliability.

State and local transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) programs strive to optimize the use of existing roadway facilities through traveler information, incident management, road weather management, arterial management, and other strategies targeting the causes of congestion. TSMO programs require real-time, high-quality, and wide-ranging roadway information. However, gaps in geographic coverage, lags in information timeliness, and life-cycle costs for field equipment can limit agencies' ability to operate the system proactively.

Benefits

Public agencies at all levels are increasing both their situational awareness and the quality and quantity of operations data using crowdsourcing, which enables staff to apply proactive strategies cost effectively and make better decisions that lead to safer and more reliable travel while protecting privacy and security of individual user data.

 

Learn more about this EDC-6 Innovation.

How NJ Incorporates Crowdsourcing for Advancing Operations

Stage of Innovation: INSTITUTIONALIZED
(December 2022)

The NJDOT is institutionalized in its use of vehicle probe data to support traffic incident/operations management and planning for operations. New Jersey has been a leader in using crowdsourcing data to advance operations since 2008. The following activities occurred in under previous EDC rounds:

Acquired Two Probe Data Sets. Crowdsourcing data from INRIX and HERE (via TRANSCOM partnership) is used for real-time performance management and traffic monitoring for roadway management and event after actions.

Incorporated Crowdsourcing Data Sets. TRANSCOM tools such as Data Fusion Engine (DFE) and Selected Priorities Applied to Evaluate Links (SPATEL) aggregate all available data sources for operations, analysis, and performance measures.

Piloted a Connected Vehicle Program.  The pilot study funded through a STIC Incentive Grant seeks to protect safety service patrol staff by alerting drivers in real-time of their presence at an incident site through apps such as Waze and Google.

What's Next?

NJDOT formed a collaboration with Drivewyze, an information service provider able to provide connected truck services including a real-time truck alert system to improve safety and reduce commercial vehicle crashes.

The real-time trucking alert system was deployed in January 2022 to improve safety and reduce commercial vehicle crashes.  The alert system helps truck drivers to react more quickly before encountering stopped traffic and major slowdowns within the corridor including taking alternate routes to relieve congestion bottlenecks during major incidents. NJDOT will continue to assess the performance of the alert system on how well the truck drivers are receiving advance warning of the traffic incident.

NJDOT, along with its private sector providers, have made presentations and highlighted lessons and benefits of the initiative in webinars and with the NJ STIC.

In November 2022, representatives from NJDOT and FHWA-NJ participated in the EDC-6 Crowdsource Capstone Peer Exchange in North Carolina.  States DOT participants included Maryland, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.  Each State DOT representative shared their crowdsource journey, challenges, best practices, and future plans. Common issues included the need for workforce planning, training on data analysis, data scientists, and help with review of new data sources, big data, forecasting, and trying to make associations, patterns, and trends that have nexus to the operations program.

Click for the Crowdsourcing for Operations Fact Sheet.

CROWDSOURCING FOR ADVANCING OPERATIONS: NEW & NOTEWORTHY 

WEBINAR: Traveler Information and Traffic Incident Management: Crowdsourcing Course

WEBINAR: Traveler Information and Traffic Incident Management: Crowdsourcing Course

Sal Cowan, NJDOT's Senior Director of Mobility served as one of the course instructors for a Travel Information and Incident Management webinar, one in a ...
ITS Training and Resource Hub

ITS Training and Resource Hub

The Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program and its partners offer trainings and resources to support workforce development and technical assistance for ...
Adventures in Crowdsourcing Webinar Series 

Adventures in Crowdsourcing Webinar Series 

The Crowdsourcing Innovation Team in collaboration with the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program is offering the crowdsourcing course ...
NJDOT Wins 2022 America’s Transportation Award for Best Use of Technology and Innovation

NJDOT Wins 2022 America’s Transportation Award for Best Use of Technology and Innovation

New Jersey Department of Transportation has been recognized with a 2022 America’s Transportation Award in the category of best use of technology and innovation. ...
NJDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Alerts Initiative Featured in National Operations for Excellence Webinar

NJDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Alerts Initiative Featured in National Operations for Excellence Webinar

The National Operations Center for Excellence held a webinar featuring New Jersey and Colorado DOT initiatives to establish private sector partnerships that use crowdsourced data ...
National Operations Center Webinar to Feature NJDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Alerts Initiative

National Operations Center Webinar to Feature NJDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Alerts Initiative

The National Operations Center for Excellence will hold a webinar featuring New Jersey and Colorado DOT initiatives to establish private sector partnerships that use crowdsourced ...
Innovation Spotlight: Testing and Deploying ITS Solutions for Safer Mobility and Operations

Innovation Spotlight: Testing and Deploying ITS Solutions for Safer Mobility and Operations

We spoke with Sue Catlett from NJDOT's Transportation Mobility, Planning and Research Group to get an update on Crowdsourcing, Weather Responsive Management and Traffic Incident ...
DVRPC’s Sidewalk Inventory and Crowdsourcing Platform

DVRPC’s Sidewalk Inventory and Crowdsourcing Platform

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is seeking to understand the region’s pedestrian infrastructure through the development of an online inventory, map, and platform ...
Final Report Released for the Connected Vehicles Program Pilot Testing of Technology for Distributing Road Service Safety Messages from Safety Service Patrols

Final Report Released for the Connected Vehicles Program Pilot Testing of Technology for Distributing Road Service Safety Messages from Safety Service Patrols

NJDOT’s top priority is to improve highway safety. To support this goal, in September 2018, New Jersey began a pilot study of the effectiveness of ...
How SJTPO Refined Their Congestion Management Process with Crowdsourced Data

How SJTPO Refined Their Congestion Management Process with Crowdsourced Data

Through the Everyday Counts (EDC) program, FHWA identifies and deploys established but underutilized innovations through a state-based model, with the goals of streamlining project delivery, ...
Tech Talk! Webinar: Crowdsourcing for Local Operations

Tech Talk! Webinar: Crowdsourcing for Local Operations

The NJDOT Bureau of Research hosted a Tech Talk! Webinar, Crowdsourcing for Local Operations, that illustrated how local agencies are working, often with state partners, ...
Connected Vehicles Program Pilot Testing of Technology for Safety Service Patrol Workers Continues

Connected Vehicles Program Pilot Testing of Technology for Safety Service Patrol Workers Continues

The pilot study continues to examine the effectiveness of connected vehicle technology to alert motorists to Safety Service Patrol (SSP) workers at an incident site. ...
Making Work Zones Smarter: Data-Driven Decision Making

Making Work Zones Smarter: Data-Driven Decision Making

In honor of Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, the NJDOT Bureau of Research hosted a Lunchtime Tech Talk, “Making Work Zones Smarter: Data-Driven Decision Making” ...
New Jersey Pilots Connected Vehicles Program  to Protect Safety Service Patrol Staff

New Jersey Pilots Connected Vehicles Program to Protect Safety Service Patrol Staff

This study will examine the effectiveness of connected vehicle technology to alert motorists to Safety Service Patrol (SSP) workers at an incident site. ...

Virtual Public Involvement (VPI)

What is Virtual Public Involvement (VPI)?

Innovative virtual public involvement techniques provide State departments of transportation (DOTs), transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and rural transportation planning organizations (RTPOs) with a platform to inform the public and receive feedback. These strategies increase the number and variety of channels available to agencies for remotely disseminating information to the public and create efficiencies in how input is collected and considered, which can potentially accelerate planning and project development processes.

Encouraging Public Engagement

Public involvement is a critical component in the transportation decision-making process, allowing for meaningful consideration and input from interested individuals. As daily users of the transportation system, the public has useful opinions, insights, and observations to share with their State DOT and local agencies on the performance and needs of the transportation system or on specific projects. Early and strong public engagement has the potential to accelerate project delivery by helping identify and address public concerns early in the planning process, thereby reducing delays from previously unknown interests late in the project delivery process.

Nearly all State DOTs and most local agencies use websites to post information about their activities. With the increased use of social media tools and mobile applications, the public can access user-friendly features such as online videos, podcasts, crowdsourced maps, and other interactive forums to receive information and provide input.

Benefits

Efficiency and Low Cost. Virtual tools and platforms can be made accessible to communities efficiently, many at a lower cost than traditional public engagement methods.

Accelerated Project Delivery. Robust public engagement helps identify issues early in the project planning process, which reduces the need to revisit decisions.

Communication and Collaboration. Virtual public involvement can aid in establishing a common vision for transportation and ensure the opinions and needs of the public are understood and considered during transportation planning and project development.

Expanded Engagement. Virtual tools can facilitate inclusion of stakeholders who do not participate in traditional approaches to public involvement. Greater and more diverse engagement can improve project quality.

Learn more about this EDC-6 Innovation.

Virtual Public Involvement in NJ

Stage of Innovation:
INSTITUTIONALIZED
(March 2023)

Collaboration. NJDOT has collaborated with the state's three MPOs to integrate VPI practices in all stages of capital project implementation, from concept development to construction.

Local Agency Advancement. New Jersey's counties and municipalities are using lessons learned from state efforts to increase their engagement with local stakeholders.

Expanding Reach. Transportation partners throughout the state have utilized VPI practices in a wide variety of projects, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This work has provided robust demonstration of expanded attendance to VPI online events. However, concerns still exist about documentation of virtual feedback versus that gained through in-person communications, as well as the issue of equity in reaching, and gaining insight, from a wide variety of participants including underserved and disadvantaged populations.

What's Next?

NJDOT and its partners are seeking to increase public engagement of various stakeholder groups. The Department plans to include VPI in its updated Public Involvement Action Plan. The agency understands that input through VPI is as important, and considered equal to, in-person input. VPI can enhance and increase access to many populations, particularly those who are underserved, but the need exists to strike a balance of in-person and virtual engagement.

Virtual Public Involvement (VPI): NEW & NOTEWORTHY 

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