Corridor management - interagency coordination

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.

Key characteristics





WSDOT regions

Other names

  • Integrated Corridor Management

Strategy description

Coordination among jurisdictions and agencies is critical to better manage traffic congestion and move people and goods more effectively. Corridor management strategies involve shared responsibility for freeway, transit, arterial, and parking systems within a corridor as a single system rather than as separate individual transportation networks. This coordination can help reduce congestion, increase efficiency, and integrate multiple modes such as transit and bicycles.

Contexts for coordination

This coordination can be useful at both at the planning and operations levels, and may include mechanisms ranging from personal relationships to formal memoranda of understanding (MOU). Corridor stakeholders may include freeway operations, local arterial and street operations, transit services, incident and emergency response services, and media and traveler information service providers.

Interagency coordination policies and procedures established for corridor management can serve as basis for various other operations to organize and improve their own coordination activities. Emergency operations, in particular, are greatly enhanced by having mechanisms and processes in place for interagency coordination because effective emergency response requires participation from a wide range of agencies, including roadway operators, fire, paramedic, police, and hazardous materials, among others.

Facilitating coordination

Interagency coordination uses various collaborative forums, including corridor management teams, that offer a regular and structured way for those agencies to discuss operational practices, equipment standards and compatibility, data sharing policies, and joint funding strategies.

These activities are most effective when they span multiple functional areas within each agency and include a range of formality, from personal conversations to formal committees. Similarly, agreements between agencies can range from a handshake to formalized inter-government agreements.

Translating policies into actions

Interagency coordination policies and agreements are typically implemented through a shared traffic management center (TMC). The TMC uses systems and software to implement operational response plans, dynamic message sign messaging, coordinated signal timing plans, incident and emergency response, alerts to the public, and data collection and distribution.

When to use this strategy

Interagency coordination for corridor management makes sense for significantly traveled corridors where various agencies operate different portions of the transportation network. It applies for corridors where mobility, safety, or congestion conditions could be improved with better coordination between operating agencies and jurisdictions.

Strategy benefits:

  • Greater buy-in, with a larger base of support, for operational strategies that require coordination among various agencies
  • Elevates visibility of corridor management among agency decision makers
  • Enables opportunities to share resources, including equipment, training, data, and expertise
  • Standardization of protocols and procedures that allow more efficient management

What you need in order to implement

Policy needs:

  • Agreement on commonly shared goals between agencies and/or jurisdictions working together to operate a corridor
  • Agreements that include guidelines, schedules, and communication plans
  • Agreement mechanisms ranging in formality from a handshake to memoranda of understanding (MOU) and other intergovernmental agreements

Coordination needs:

  • Regularly scheduled meetings among all relevant parties to discuss their joint use and/or management of corridors
  • Coordination processes that range from coordination councils, to scheduled committee meetings, to ad hoc meetings
  • Coordination of resources and staff at levels ranging from informal and personal conversations to standing committees, special committees, or task forces
  • Sharing of data, training, communication equipment, and, in certain cases, personnel to improve corridor operations

Learn more about this strategy

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Regional Collaboration and Coordination website.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Improving Transportation Systems Management and Operations, Capability Maturity Model Workshop White Paper – Collaboration (PDF).

National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 20-68A, Successful Intermodal Corridor Management Practices for Sustainable System Performance, October 2016 (PDF).

About key characteristics

Location notes:

Interagency coordination for corridor management is relevant for key travel corridors where various agencies operate different portions of the transportation network.

Cost notes:

Costs associated with coordination activities can be relatively low as they relate to agency staff time developing policies and meeting with partner agencies. Depending on what policies and practices are determined, costs can be relatively high if they include the construction of a traffic management center (TMC) or involve the development of new corridor management systems or equipment upgrades.

Technology notes:

Technology needs associated with interagency coordination are minimal since the activities are mainly around collaboration and meetings with other agency staff, and the co-development of plans and policies.

Collaboration notes:

High levels of collaboration are necessarily a core attribute of interagency coordination.

Need or issue this strategy addresses