What is Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)?
ITS is the application of technologies and communications to improve the multimodal transportation system in an area. ITS includes detection systems and cameras for monitoring traffic conditions on roadways, dynamic message signs to provide real time travel information, vehicle location systems to track transit and emergency services vehicles, and a host of other technological elements and agency coordination processes.
What is our purpose for developing an ITS Plan?
Local, state, and federal representatives in the Lawrence-Douglas County Region are exploring ways to use technology to improve the efficiency and safety of roads, public transit, bike and pedestrian facilities, and emergency services. The goal is to develop a long-range plan using technology to improve the region's multimodal transportation system.
Possible technologies include cameras, sensors, communication devices, and shared information which will provide travelers with the knowledge they need to plan their trips and provide the local governments the knowledge they need to respond to congestion and incidents. Information about traffic conditions on major roads and when the next bus is due at your stop are examples of the kind of information provided through Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
The ITS plan will lay out how all of the agencies and technologies will communicate and work together to improve the transportation experience in our region. Better travel through technology is a good reason to create an ITS Plan.
What do we gain from having an ITS Plan?
Tremendous investments have been made in the transportation system (roads, bridges, intersections, transit services, bike and pedestrian infrastructure) and those facilities and services have become vital parts of the community. Application of technologies can help solve some of the transportation problems in the area.
Some of the many ways ITS can be applied to improve travel in our region, but certainly not all of the ways, are listed below:
- Improved Signal Coordination: Fewer stops at traffic signals mean less fuel used and less time spent waiting by motorists. Improved traffic signal timing can provide more efficient flow of traffic along a roadway.
- Traveler Information: Knowing traffic conditions before you leave your house or while in route can help avoid delays and road closures due to accidents, severe weather or construction. Determining real-time road conditions with cameras, vehicle detectors and weather sensors can provide traveler information. Automated transit vehicle location systems can provide dispatchers with bus locations and on-time information. Dynamic message signs, web sites, and subscription services all use technology to provide traveler information.
- Emergency Services: Public safety dispatchers can see an accident scene and dispatch responders using shared traffic cameras. Emergency vehicles can use real time road conditions to avoid problem spots.
- Funding Eligibility: An ITS plan is a good planning tool and is a required tool if your region wants to ever use federal money to pay for ITS projects. To remain eligible for federal funding, the US Department of Transportation requires an ITS plan for the area. Benefits for the area from the ITS Plan come in many forms.
To learn more about the project please contact the MPO staff at firstname.lastname@example.org