Guidance on Quantifying Benefits of TIM Strategies

Traffic incidents are a major source of congestion. Traffic incident management (TIM) consists of “a planned and coordinated multi-disciplinary process to detect, respond to, and clear traffic incidents so that traffic flow may be restored as safely and quickly as possible. Effective TIM reduces the duration and impacts of traffic incidents and improves the safety of motorists, crash victims, and emergency responders.” (FHWA Traffic Incident Management Website) The National Traffic Incident Management Coalition (NTIMC) has adopted the National Unified Goal (NUG) for TIM to “achieve enhanced responder safety; safe, quick traffic incident clearance; and more prompt, reliable, interoperable communications.” About half of congestion is caused by temporary disruptions that take away part of the roadway from use, or "non-recurring" congestion. The three main causes of non-recurring congestion are: incidents ranging from a flat tire to an overturned hazardous material truck (25 percent of congestion), work zones (10 percent of congestion), and weather (15 percent of congestion). Non-recurring events dramatically reduce the available capacity and reliability of the entire transportation system. TIM has received increased attention in recent years as agencies, including transportation and emergency responders, have deployed more personnel and financial resources in this area to improve road user and worker/responder safety, improve mobility and reliability, reduce green-house emissions, and mitigate other environmental impacts. TIM related analytical procedures (for estimation of impacts, benefit/cost of program/strategies, resource allocation, etc.) have made rapid progress, and many agencies have developed their own methods/tools to support improved decisionmaking. Also, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), with the help of 11 focus states, has identified three incident specific performance measures for data collection and analysis, i.e., roadway clearance time, incident clearance time, and secondary incidents. However, there are inconsistencies in TIM related estimation methods, and guidance is needed on what should be considered reasonable for accurate TIM program assessment and operations performance measurement under data rich and poor scenarios. In the absence of such guidance, it is very difficult to accurately determine and/or compute economic benefits of these programs and TIM strategies and the use of this information in various evaluations and decision support systems. This is also important to have a better understanding of the scope of the problem and preparing a consistent message related to impacts and benefits that can also be used in training. The objective of this research is to develop a guidance document for analyzing and quantifying the impacts of traffic incidents and the economic benefits of TIM strategies. The guidance shall be useful and applicable for TIM program mid-level managers/analysts in planning and operations for a broad spectrum of transportation and incident responding agencies with varying TIM program maturity levels and a variety of data collection capabilities.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $499985
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 03-108

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Bush, Mark

  • Performing Organizations:

    Noblis, Incorporated

  • Principal Investigators:

    Shah, Vaishali

  • Start Date: 20130710
  • Expected Completion Date: 20171031
  • Actual Completion Date: 20171031
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38357

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547849
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 03-108
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 16 2014 1:00AM