Planning and Reporting
Traditional planning processes in roads and highways authorities have focused on capital improvements to roadways. In many countries there were few mechanisms to effectively support ways of improving road network operations or to support thinking beyond the physical construction of facilities and infrastructure. This is changing to allow consideration of how road and highway facilities can operate most effectively.
Planning for operations is inevitably part of the long-term planning effort, but the planning process needs to be more than simply planning for, and funding of, the installation of additional infrastructure. Specifically, planning for operations should ensure a long-term, adequate and reliable source of funds for day-to-day traffic operations and maintenance of the ITS infrastructure.
Planning for Road Network Operations (RNO) now normally includes three important aspects:
- management and operations included as part of the on-going regional transport planning and investment process
- coordination of transport operations regionally to facilitate network control strategies
- opportunities for developing links between different operating partners for collaboration and regional planning, including all phases of incident and emergency management
Linking together planning and operations will encourage an improvement in transport decision-making and the overall effectiveness of transport systems. Coordination between the planners and operating units helps ensure that regional transport investment decisions take account of the available operational strategies that can support regional goals and objectives.
In summary, the success of RNO is closely related to the strategic role and objectives of the transport agencies responsible for RNO – such as:
- engaging in operational policies that will deliver a high level of service to road users - in addition to building roads and maintaining them
- engaging in inter-agency, multidisciplinary and multimodal planning, preparation and response for routine conditions (for example recurring congestion) – as well as unscheduled (non-recurring) incidents
- preparing staff at all levels by providing proper training, not only in their own roles and duties, but also, to some degree, in those of their partners – so basic knowledge and expectations are mutual
- avoiding institutional barriers that deter progress and success
- using technologies wisely and sharing data and information amongst agencies
These “high-level” concepts should guide agencies in their formulation of policy and operational practices. (See Traffic Management and Demand Management)