The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) said last week it is consolidating several key functions into its Transportation Systems Management and Operations Division (TSMO) as traffic on the state's roads increases.
The decision to streamline will enable ADOT to oversee existing infrastructure while simultaneously planning for future highway needs, including signage, technology and materials. In addition to physical road conditions, TSMO handles safety improvements, traffic signals and crash response aided largely by sensors, roadway message signs and closed-circuit cameras from ADOT’s operation center.
“Gov. (Doug) Ducey has challenged state agencies to adopt practices for daily improvement and this is one of our answers,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “By proactively maximizing the capacity of our entire system, our efforts stretch the investment taxpayers are making in transportation. By focusing on the whole system, rather than individual corridors, movement and safety are optimized along today’s and tomorrow’s highways, especially with emerging technologies that will move us into the future.”
Current practices range from large, low-tech decals guiding drivers between freeways and synchronized traffic signals to electronic speed limit signs. Emergency response to extreme weather conditions is also on the radar along with thrift: with the consolidation, ADOT has reduced its statewide engineering districts from 10 down to seven, reduced staff, and streamlined system management and operations.
“We’ve understood for some time that you can’t just build your way out of congestion,” ADOT Assistant Director and TSMO Head Brent Cain said. “We’ll be better prepared for the future, while working even more closely with the Department of Public Safety, local police and fire departments, emergency-response agencies as well as counties, cities and towns.”
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