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I-15 congestion management receives $800K boost

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded $800,000 to the San Diego region to supplement its Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) initiative aimed at deploying and integrating technology to better manage traffic on I-15.

This latest award is in addition to $8.7 million that the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded last year to the region’s ICM partnership, which includes SANDAG, the California Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transit System, the North County Transit District, and the cities of San Diego, Escondido, and Poway.  

With $2.1 million in additional funds from Proposition 1B to support the ICM initiative, the region overall will spend $11.6 million to deploy a high-tech traffic management system. This system will use micro-simulations to predict problems on the freeway and nearby arterials and recommend strategies to address them. 

“SANDAG long ago realized that new road construction alone will not solve our region’s traffic headaches,” SANDAG Executive Director Gary Gallegos said. “Harnessing state-of-the-art technologies to create an integrated corridor management system can go a long way toward easing traffic on the I-15 corridor.”

Traffic information today is often fragmented because different agencies manage freeways, surface streets, and transit systems. The ICM initiative brings together seven agencies in the region to build a unified traffic management system for the I-15 corridor, enabling an unprecedented level of multi-agency collaboration to achieve smooth traffic flow and maximize system efficiency.  

Scheduled to go live in the spring of 2013, the unified system seeks to combine multimodal data from freeway ramp meters, surface street signals, road sensors, and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to give transportation managers a more complete picture and help them anticipate and possibly head off problems. Based on road conditions, managers can adjust traffic signals and ramp meters and direct travelers to use alternate routes. Travelers will receive real-time traffic information via the Internet, message signs, and 511, so they will be better informed about routes and options for getting to their destinations.

The $800,000 in funding from the FTA will pay for the integration of transit operations into the traffic management system. A BRT bus line is scheduled to launch on the I-15 next year. The money will pay for technology to gather data on the speed and location of BRT buses and their passenger loads. As an example, with this information in hand, an I-15 traveler would know that traffic is backed up in the main lanes of the freeway, but that the BRT offers a faster commute in the Express Lanes.

The I-15 corridor is one of two national demonstration projects to receive funding under the federal ICM initiative. The other recipient is the Dallas Area Rapid Transit.

Project Manager(s)

Peter Thompson, Senior Technology Program Analyst
Phone: (619) 699-4813, E-mail: peter.thompson@sandag.org

Samuel Johnson, Director of Operations
Phone: (619) 710-4021, E-mail: samuel.johnson@sandag.org

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or pio@sandag.org.