Transportation Operations

Focuses on moving people and goods safely and efficiently. The seven traffic management centers throughout the state serve as the nerve center for traffic management activities connecting to thousands of sensing devices to manage congestion and enabling quick response to incidents. Examples include peak-use shoulders, HOV lanes, ramp meters, bus rapid transit, and freight truck parking systems.  

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  • Access management allows agencies to manage vehicle access points, like driveways and intersections, to help road users safely and efficiently access desired locations like residences and businesses.

  • Bicycle facilities consist of the space designated for bicycles on the road, adjacent to the road, or on a separate path that supports safe and efficient travel by bicycle.

  • The design and location of bus stops helps maximize rider access and safety, and enhance safety and efficiency for all users of the transportation system.

  • Channelization and delineation are design elements that can separate directions of traffic, restrict certain movements, or direct traffic to a particular location.

  • A transportation management plan (TMP) describes how an agency will address the impact of a project on road users during construction.

  • Interagency coordination for corridor management refers to the methods and policies that enable participating agencies and jurisdictions to operate a corridor, or primary route, jointly and effectively.

  • Curb Management and Complete Street include planning, managing, operating, and maintaining curb space (including parking) to help achieve several mobility, access, and sustainability goals.

  • Data management is based on the principle of treating data as an important agency asset. This includes regular attention to ensure the process of collecting, validating, and evaluating information (for accuracy, reliability, and relevance for informed decision-making) is appropriate and meets the need and purpose for the data asset. Agencies may source certain types of data from WSDOT, other agencies, and the private sector.

  • Emergency management coordination includes collaboration between transportation agencies, transit providers, emergency management, and incident responders during major regional natural disasters.

  • Instant tow is the immediate dispatch of a tow truck to an incident scene or location of a vehicle or debris blocking a lane so that disabled vehicles can be cleared quickly.

  • Low-cost safety enhancements are part of a systemic application of road and roadside treatments that can improve safety at intersections and along many miles of road. Enhancements can range from maintenance to safety features.

  • Pedestrian facilities are the public right-of-way spaces that are used by people on foot to get from place to place. Improvements to pedestrian facilities include new crosswalk designs for increased safety, curb bulb-outs to reduce the distance it takes to cross a roadway, curb ramps for accessibility, and signal timing improvements that make pedestrians easier for drivers to see at intersections.

  • Ramp closures are the temporary, part-time (for specific parts of the day), or permanent closure on highway entrance or exit ramps. Ramps are typically closed where interchanges are spaced closely together, regular congestion occurs on the highway, a high-collision rate occurs at the ramp, or on ramps with compromised visibility.  

  • Ramp metering is an active traffic management (ATM) strategy that uses traffic signals at freeway on-ramps to control the number of vehicles entering the freeway to keep vehicles moving more efficiently.

  • Reversible lanes allow agencies to switch the direction of traffic flow during certain times and conditions. They are typically used during peak commuting hours to add capacity in one direction.

  • A road diet changes roadway usage by replacing some of the typical traffic lanes to make space for other uses like bicycle lanes, sidewalks, or parking.

  • A roundabout is a type of circular intersection without traffic signals or stop signs, where drivers travel counterclockwise around a center island. When entering the roundabout, drivers yield to existing traffic, then enter the intersection and exit in their desired direction.

  • Conducting a safety analysis and applying effective countermeasures are crucial in decreasing the number of collisions, reducing congestion, and maintaining the efficiency of the transportation system.

  • Signs help regulate traffic flow and provide valuable information to road users in order to encourage safe and efficient travel.

  • A special or planned event generates a significant increase in people and traffic that impacts the transportation system. Special & Planned event management is a coordinated approach to understand the characteristics of the event, how the event will affect transportation operations, and plan and manage a response to mitigate the impacts.

  • Speed management techniques encourage people to use safe speeds while driving. Managing vehicle speeds reduces the number and severity of collisions and increases the efficiency of traffic flow.

  • Traffic calming reduces vehicle speeds by using roadway design elements, like roundabouts, narrowed roads and speed humps. Traffic calming supports the livability and vitality of residential and commercial areas by improving the safety, mobility, and comfort for all road users, with special care taken for pedestrians and bicyclists.

  • Traffic Incident Management (TIM) restores traffic flow as safely and quickly as possible following a roadway incident. Through planning and coordination, each of the collaborating agencies can focus on what they do best. State patrol can focus on law enforcement. Fire can focus on health and safety. DOT can focus on traffic control and getting traffic going again.

  • Traffic incident management (TIM) operations includes the process to quickly detect, verify, respond, manage and clear traffic incidents with the appropriate personnel and equipment. This can improve safety for responders as well as reduce the likelihood of secondary collisions and congestion resulting from the incident.  

  • Truck parking facility management includes a combination of strategies that aim at providing guidance on where trucks may legally park, improving safety and security at truck stops to mitigate the risk of theft and other safety hazards. It also includes technologies such as real-time parking availability systems and mobile apps to help truck drivers locate available parking spots.

  • Turn lanes are dedicated lanes for left and right turning vehicles