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New corridor management plan to harness data that will aid motorists navigate clogged arteries

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Monday, November 26, 2012

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Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office:817-272-7075, Cell:214-546-1082, hbooth@uta.edu

UT Arlington civil engineers are developing an expansive computer data network that will be the backbone of the Integrated Corridor Management project to help motorists navigate U.S. 75 and its major neighboring arterials from downtown Dallas to Texas 121.

Their work is part of a regional effort to fuse massive amounts of transportation data collected through road sensors, traffic signals, toll tag readers and fixed roadway cameras, among other sources. The system is scheduled to go live in April 2013 with a goal of providing motorists better, real-time information about road congestion, accidents and alternative routes.

“Mobility is one of the dominant issues in our region, and we have access to comprehensive data that can help motorists and traffic engineers improve the way we navigate major travel corridors,” said Sia Ardekani, the UT Arlington civil engineering professor who is spearheading the data collection network. “Our work synthesizes critical data in a way that will yield better solutions for all of us.”

Sia Ardekani

Sia Ardekani

Ardekani and Steve Mattingly, an associate professor of civil engineering, are leading UT Arlington’s involvement in the regional team, which includes Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University and Texas Southern University.

Their work is part of an $8.3 million, five-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Other partners include the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the North Texas Tollway Authority, the cities of Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Highland Park and University Park, and Telvent, a designer of advanced intelligent infrastructure management tools.

The team plans to develop a related cell phone application that sends text messages to warn motorists about traffic snarls. The comprehensive data also will be integrated into a 5-1-1 transportation and traffic information system similar to those in place elsewhere around the country.

Natalie Bettger, a senior project manager for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, said the project provides opportunities to test better integration between transportation systems such as freeways, transit lines and arterials.

“It helps us identify operational strategies to get the most out of the existing transportation infrastructure,” Bettger said. “This will allow us to take lessons learned and apply those to other corridors in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.”

Koorosh Olyai, the DART assistant vice president who is leading the Integrated Corridor Management efforts, said that Ardekani and his UT Arlington collaborators have played a significant role in the project since its inception.

Ardekani has served as co-chair of the decision support system and operations team, and UT Arlington has served as the “designated hub for collection and dissemination of data from various stakeholders for use in the project evaluation phase,” Olyai said.

He said the project would allow DART, TxDOT and other transportation agency stakeholders to more effectively coordinate their response to transportation events and to better serve the public in the aftermath of such events.

Once established, the 5-1-1 transportation information system will enable the traveling public to use the available transportation capacity – be it highways, surface streets, managed lanes, bus or rail – in a more efficient manner even under non-incident conditions.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,200 students and more than 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

About DART

Dallas Area Rapid Transit offers public transit services for 13 North Texas cities. The extensive network includes DART rail, Trinity Railway Express, bus services and high-occupancy vehicle lanes. Visit www.dart.org for more information.

About NCTCOG

The North Central Texas Council of Governments is a voluntary, 16-county association of, by and for local governments, established to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for regional development. Visit www.nctcog.org for more information.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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