5.2.1 Incident Management Operations

The interviews and meetings indicate that the primary operational mission of CHART is to enhance travel on the roadways by reducing the impact of freeway incidents. An incident is any situation that blocks the travel lanes or otherwise reduces the capacity of the roadway. Types of incidents include: unplanned such as accidents, disabled vehicles, spilled loads, hazardous materials, adverse weather; and planned such as special events, construction, and maintenance.

The CHART system provides additional support to freeway users by providing information that is used to notify the public through various direct and third party information channels. Incident management strategies today are developed through a collaboration of the CHART staff, the CHART Board, outside agency stakeholders, and private consultants, and implemented by the operations and response staff. The goal of incident management is to restore full capacity as soon as possible after an incident occurs, and to efficiently manage traffic during an incident. The strategies for incident management are developed and deployed in a coordinated effort by the agencies that comprise and support the CHART organization.

The new CHART II system envisioned by the CSC/PBFI Team enhances the agencies ability to obtain accurate and timely incident data in order to carry out this primary mission of CHART. The team has drawn from its experience of incident management systems such as TRANSMIT and the I-4 freeway system in Orlando, Florida, to build a design that will improve the productivity of the system operators.