Plan diversion routes carefully to avoid negative consequences on designated alternate routes.

National experience with route diversion for incident management.

United States

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Lesson Learned

Plan diversion routes carefully to avoid negative consequences.
Although concerns often arise over the impact of diverting traffic from major roadways onto surface streets, no test has yet demonstrated any substantial negative impact from such diversions. Projects that included planned diversions carefully prepared incident management solutions, such as San Antonio TransGuide's "scenarios" which were tailored to each potential incident type and location. Both DIVERT (St. Paul, MN) and TransGuide developed these solutions in consensus with agencies responsible for transportation throughout the affected area. This careful preparation has thus far prevented the floods of high-speed traffic through residential areas that were once feared.

Other key components of responsibly planning to prevent such negative impact have been:
  • Perform a careful traffic engineering analysis of the alternate route.
  • Identify and implement improvements to the diversion route (such as signage, lane marking, and geometrics).
  • Effectively coordinate of the diversion route’s traffic control system to accommodate the increased volume generated when it is in use as a diversion route.

Together, these and other measures have prevented situations that could have created a significant public outcry against the use of diversion routing as a component in incident management.

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Intelligent Transportation Systems Field Operational Test Cross-Cutting Study: Incident Management: Detection, Verification, and Traffic Management

Author: Pearce, Vince and Sam Subramaniam (Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc)

Published By: ITS JPO

Source Date: 6/1/1998

EDL Number: 6328

Other Reference Number: FHWA-RD-JPO-034

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/4064

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Lesson Analyst:

Eli Machek
U.S. DOT / RITA / John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center


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Lesson ID: 2005-00029