Kentucky

Overview of TIM Program

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KTC) operates three regional traffic management centers (TMCs) – ARTIMIS in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, TRIMARC in Louisville, and Crosstown Traffic in Lexington. Statewide traffic incident management (TIM) in Kentucky is coordinated by the Incident Management Task Force (IMTF), which was established by the Governor’s Executive Committee on Highway Safety. This task force consists of professionals from the KTC and various other agencies throughout Kentucky. There is a memorandum of agreement (MOA) among all of these agencies to share data related to incident management.

The KTC also operates the Safety Assistance for Freeway Emergencies (SAFE) Patrol on major interstate highways and parkways across the state. SAFE operates seven days a week from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.[1] TRIMARC operates its own freeway service patrol (FSP) during business hours, Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., which corresponds with TRIMARC’s hours of operation.[2] SAFE and FSP drivers are dispatched by the TMCs. The drivers collect and document incident-related data through a proprietary software system, but they can also report urgent updates directly to the TMC operators or through the 511 system.

The KTC also has a program known as “Notify Every Truck,” which is aimed at helping commercial vehicle operations avoid major incident queues. Drivers registered for the program receive email and text alerts for incidents anticipated to last more than two hours in an attempt to help them adjust their routes and stops as much as possible.

Data Collection and Management

TMC operators monitor and track incidents as they are detected by TMC operators or called in by the FSP drivers or other sources. Although the database used by the FSP is not common statewide, the same proprietary software is used in both the Louisville and Frankfurt regions. The FSP and TMC operators also use separate data systems, which sometimes results in duplication of incident reports; however, the KTC plans to move to a single statewide database in 2016.

The KTC has multiple data-sharing agreements and provides the incident report data to 14 different organizations. The KTC has an agreement with INRIX and recently entered into an agreement with Waze, who is now mining the data.

Kentucky collects data on the three national TIM performance measures via the state crash report. Using the crash report, police officers can record the “time notified,” “time arrived,” and “roadway opened.”[3]When an officer leaves an incident scene, he/she clears the incident from the CAD system, and this is the time that is recorded in the system as the incident clearance time. However, because law enforcement is not always the last to leave the scene of an incident, this can lead to inaccurate data on incident clearance times. In addition, the IMTF wanted to track secondary crashes more carefully. Through a police officer that was a member of both the IMTF and the state Traffic Records Coordinating Committee (TRCC), the two groups worked to add a supplemental code for “Secondary Collision” to the Kentucky Uniform Police Traffic Collision Report form in 2007.[4]

Performance Analysis and Reporting

The KTC participates in the Federal Highway Administration’s annual TIM Self-Assessment, but does not produce any other official performance reports. The KTC does, however, hold quarterly incident management meetings with first responders in each district, and the incident performance data is used for discussion at these meetings.

The KTC has developed a process for calculating the cost of roadway closures caused by traffic incidents in Louisville. It is a local process, built in Excel, which takes in many different factors, including the average number of people per vehicle, total cost of commuters per hour, percent of trucks and cars on the roadway, average length of vehicles, spacing, and annual average daily traffic (AADT). The data comes from a variety of sources, including the national travel survey, local air pollution control, and Google. The process considers all the various ways there are to bypass an incident scene. The base savings is then determined using the length of the queue. The actual queue length is then compared to the calculated queue length. This information is shared with the KTC after the analysis is completed and is included in the monthly report to be discussed at the quarterly freeway incident management meetings.

 

[1] Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Safe Patrol, http://transportation.ky.gov/Incident-Management/Pages/Safe-Patrol.aspx, accessed March 4, 2016.
[2] TRIMARC, Freeway Service Patrol, http://www.trimarc.org/site/pages/Freeway_Service_Patrol.php, accessed March 4, 2016.
[3] Commonwealth of Kentucky, Kentucky Uniform Police Traffic Collision Report, http://www.actar.org/pdf/ky_rep1.pdf, accessed March 22, 2016.
[4] Pigman, J. G., E. R. Green, and J. R. Walton, Identification of Secondary Crashes and Recommended Countermeasures, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, 2011, http://www.ktc.uky.edu/files/2012/06/KTC_11_06_SPR_402_10_1F.pdf.