Improving Safety Service Patrol Performance

The objective of this research is to develop a methodology and a tool for optimizing Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) safety service patrol (SSP) routes, schedules, staging, and personnel needed to serve a given corridor. The methodology will incorporate various decision variables and parameters to accommodate the complexities in real-world deployments. A proof of concept will be developed for an existing corridor to demonstrate the applicability and use of the methodology. More specifically, the proposed research will achieve the following objectives: (1) Review and document the current state of the practice in other states and their implementation of SSP optimization procedures. (2) Identify and specify the functional requirements for the SSP optimization tool in terms of its objectives, decision variables, constraints, and model outputs. (3) Develop an optimization framework that accounts for all factors identified and a computationally efficient method to perform the optimization process. (4) Create a user-friendly optimization tool for VDOT staff to execute the SSP deployment optimization methods and determine the most feasible solutions to a given scenario. (5) Validate and test the tool by conducting sample analyses for selected corridors under various operating conditions. (6) Document the steps required to execute the tool in a reference manual for VDOT users, and train VDOT staff on how to use the optimization tool to solve a specific problem and how to perform sensitivity analysis.