Road Network Operations
& Intelligent Transport Systems
A guide for practitioners!

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Purpose and Objectives

Road Network Operations is a strategic approach to maximising efficiency on existing and future road infrastructure. At the tactical level this strategy translates into improving operations with the objective of reducing traffic delays and operating day-by-day in a more efficient way. At the strategic level, it means integrating the operations concept early on in the development of all road infrastructure projects, beginning with the planning and design process and ensuring adequate resources, both fiscal and personnel.

The road network operator has to consider the methods, organisational structures and resources needed to support strategies for road network operations, maintenance and incident response.

Objectives of the network operator include:

  • improving safety on the road network
  • optimising traffic flow on arterial and freeway networks
  • reducing congestion within and between cities
  • co-ordinating agency traffic/transit operations
  • managing incidents, reducing delays and adverse effects of incidents and congestion, weather, roadwork, special events, emergencies and disaster situations
  • effectively managing maintenance and construction work to minimise the impact on safety and congestion
  • informing travellers with timely and accurate information
  • improving the interfaces between modes of transport for passengers and freight
  • eliminating bottlenecks due to inadequate road geometry
  • providing reliable and convenient public transport services

Targets for RNO Activities

Congestion: Relieving congestion is achieved by optimizing the management of traffic signals; detecting and managing incidents on the highway network, access control systems; High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes; journey time information; speed management. (See Network Control)

Safety: Improving safety requires measures such as adaptive speed control, collision detection and avoidance; enhanced vehicle safety systems; weather and road condition information. (See Road Safety)

Security: Maintaining security is done through evacuation route signing and priority; homeland security initiatives such as deployed in the USA, hazardous load monitoring and assistance for vulnerable road users. (See Network Security and Emergency Response)

Environmental protection: Ensuring environmental monitoring and protection requires a reduction in traffic congestion, creation of low-emission zones and promotion of public transport alternatives. (See Transport Demand Management)

Support for business & commerce: Increasing productivity and operational efficiencies can be achieved by fleet management; computer aided dispatch; automatic vehicle location; automatic cargo tracking; electronic pre-clearance; vehicle compliance checking and driver monitoring. (See Freight and Commercial Services)

Road user services: Providing comfort to users of transportation system who need to feel confident and secure is the motivation for applications such as route confirmation, journey time estimates and clear advice on approaching interchanges and connections. Relevant ITS services include real-time traffic and public transport information; dynamic route guidance; automotive vehicle location (AVL); smart card payment systems for toll highway and public transport use. (See Traveller Services).

Reference sources

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