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Transportation Planning / AMATS

            Municipality of Anchorage 
                    Anchorage ITS

ITS PROJECT NEWS (posted 10/17/13) 

Anchorage Regional ITS Architecture Update

The Anchorage Regional ITS Architecture is scheduled for an update for 2014, using consultant services.  More information will be available when the RFP is posted to the Municipal Purchasing Department Web site, anticipated during fourth quarter 2013.  Stay tuned!

Fall/Winter 2012

Anchorage Smart Parking

Pay-by-Phone (http://www.paybyphone.com/) has been available at all EasyPark parking lots since 2009. Registration for a pay-by-phone account is free. The service is great for those who prefer the convenience of paying from the comfort of their vehicle. The customer may also opt to have free text reminders of impending expiry time and extend time remotely. Each customer may access their transaction history via their free account. Pay-by-phone customers who carry smart phones may download the free pay-by-phone app and pay for parking without dialing a phone number! Fall/Winter 2012All on street single space parking meter mechanisms will be replaced with mechanisms which accept coins, a chip embedded preloaded ParkCard, Visa and MasterCard.  Each mechanism has a wireless modem providing mechanism status information to parking management so we can respond quickly to dead batteries, coin jams, etc.

Space Sensor

Select on street single space metered spaces will be equipped with space sensors.  The space sensors integrate with the meter mechanism and our web-based back office software to track whether or not the parking space is occupied, or vacant. This has a host of benefits for the customer and the parking management team. The most exciting benefit of this technology is the motorist’ ability to use a smart app to find an open space without "cruising" then drive directly to that space.Select on street single space metered spaces will be equipped with space sensors.  The space sensors integrate with the meter mechanism and our web-based back office software to track whether or not the parking space is occupied, or vacant. This has a host of benefits for the customer and the parking management team. The most exciting benefit of this technology is the motorist’ ability to use a smart app to find an open space without "cruising" then drive directly to that space.

Pay-by-Phone
On street parking meters will accept pay-by-phone. This payment option, in addition to coins, ParkCard, Visa and MasterCard, further reduces the odds that the motorist receives a parking citation because he did not have the means to make the required payment. Also, in the on street environment, ability to extend time remotely is invaluable. For more information, visit EasyPark Web page: http://www.easyparkalaska.com/ 

People Mover installs Smart Fare Boxes

 On June 11, People Mover rolled out new fareboxes, new electronic swipe and smart card technology, and a ticket vending machine. This project brought new technology to Alaska and will improve revenue accounting, pass inventory control and reduce boarding times. This project has been a huge success, and the go-live went extremely well.

Notice to MOA Project Managers / Project Sponsors! If your project includes ITS elements* and uses funds from the federal highway trust fund, prior to acquisition, construction, or implementation, you must demonstrate compliance with federal Systems Engineering Analysis requirements. Complete the ADOT&PF Systems Engineering Analysis Checklist, link below, and submit to FHWA through ADOT&PF Central Region Planning. 

AKDOT&PF Systems Engineering Web Site:  http://www.dot.state.ak.us/iways/sys-eng.shtml  * An ITS project, as spelled out in the FHWA/FTA Final Rule/Policy on ITS Architecture and Standards Conformity, is any project in whole or in part that funds the acquisition of technologies or systems of technologies, that provide or significantly contribute to the provision of one or more ITS user services as defined in the National ITS Architecture. In other words, an ITS project is any project that may provide an opportunity for integration at any point during its life.

Posting: 05/03/11

Real-Time Traffic Monitoring Helps Anchorage Keep Pace 

 Recently, the American Planning Association (APA) selected Dr. Jeff Miller, University of Alaska Anchorage, Computer Systems Engineering Department and Ms. Teresa Brewer, AMATS Transportation Planner and Freight Mobility Coordinator to present a technology showcase on tracking freight and private vehicle movements using GPS at the April 2011 APA national conference in Boston. This project was supported and developed by the AMATS Freight Advisory Committee and the Alaska Trucking Association. This technology showcase "Easing Congestion with Real-Time Freight Tracking" examined how efforts to minimize congestion in the downtown core through the installation of real-time GPS units in commercial freight and privately-owned passenger vehicles is being used to guide freight corridor planning and freight travel demand forecasting. To read, please click Article.

Notice to MOA Project Managers / Project Sponsors!  If your project includes ITS elements* and uses funds from the federal highway trust fund, prior to acquisition, construction, or implementation, you must demonstrate compliance with federal Systems Engineering Analysis requirements.  Complete the ADOT&PF Systems Engineering Analysis Checklist, link below, and submit to FHWA through ADOT&PF Central Region Planning.  AKDOT&PF Systems Engineering Web Site:  http://www.dot.state.ak.us/iways/sys-eng.shtml

* An ITS project, as spelled out in the FHWA/FTA Final Rule / Policy on ITS Architecture and Standards Conformity, is any project in whole or in part that funds the acquisition of technologies or systems of technologies, that provide or significantly contribute to the provision of one or more ITS user services as defined in the National ITS Architecture. In other words, an ITS project is any project that may provide an opportunity for integration at any point during its life.

Anchorage ITS Architecture Development

New for 2012-13: Anchorage Regional ITS architecture is scheduled for an update.  Details coming soon.

What is ITS?

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) is the application of advanced sensor, computer, electronics and communication technologies that are applied to transportation systems to provide a complementary means to maximize the safety and efficiency of transportation infrastructure. Examples of ITS functions that are commonly deployed include:

  • Homeland security and emergency incident response.

    • GPS Dispatch for Emergency Services and Maintenance.
    • HAZMAT Tracking.
    • Road condition, incident tracking and rerouting information.
    • Coordinated incident management.
  • Collection of prevailing weather and pavement conditions to support decisions on operations and management strategies.
  • Provision of real-time traffic condition information to travelers through various means such as Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), Highway Advisory Radios (HAR), and the Internet.
  • Improved information sharing and dissemination to support real-time decision making and trip planning.
  • Improved management of normal maintenance operations, such as the use of Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD).
  • Enhancements to incident management functions, such as the provision mayday services and improved information sharing among responders.

Management of fleet operations, such as transit vehicle tracking to provide users with real-time arrival information or maintenance vehicle operations.

MOA ITS IMPLEMENTATION PLAN: CURRENT and PLANNED PROJECTS

The Municipality of Anchorage has developed a regional Anchorage ITS architecture. ITS projects needed in the future were identified through an extensive outreach process, and are included in the final Anchorage ITS Implementation Plan.

The final ITS Implementation Plan, approved by the AMATS Policy Committee, October 14, 2004, is used as input to guide decisions for deploying ITS now and in the future for MOA, and is addressed during development of the Long-Range Transportation Plan, as well as corridor plans.

In the meantime, Anchorage is already deploying ITS projects. The Final Rule/Policy defines ITS as electronics, communications, or information processing used alone or in a combination to improve the efficiency or safety of a surface transportation system. An "ITS project" is defined as any project that in whole or in part funds the acquisition of technologies or systems of technologies that provide or significantly contribute to the provision of one or more ITS user services as defined in the National ITS Architecture.

Examples of current and planned ITS projects, or projects which may have ITS elements (electronics, communications, or information processing) include but are not limited to, the following:

TRANSIT:

People Mover fixed routes and AnchorRides Paratransit systems have seized technology to improve with:

  • DriveCam—An on-board camera captures activity occurring 10-seconds before and after the camera senses a g-force > 5. If a driver was to slam on his/her brakes, or if there is an impact great enough to set off the DriveCam, everything happening from the front windshield to the back of the bus and in front of the windshield (in front of the bus) is captured for replay. Drivers can also manually set off the camera to capture events occurring inside the bus. This technology saved the MOA from a serious lawsuit when the Anchorage Police Department watched the films and over-turned a traffic ticket originally issued to a bus operator.
  • Transit Real Time Bus Arrival—This fall, bus passengers will be able to go to their computer, click on their bus stop, and see where their bus is along the route. Using automated vehicle location and global positioning technology, real-time bus arrival time will be particularly helpful during cold, winter months.
  • We’ve installed a computer at the Alaska Center for Deaf & Blind Adults, Anchorage Senior Center, Daybreak Adult Daycare, Serendipity Adult Daycare, the Arc of Anchorage, so people can see when their AnchorRides vehicle is scheduled to pick them up. The Arc of Anchorage is also using the system for their client billing—the computer lets them know when the bus will drop the passengers off at the facility.
  • We’ve installed a computer at the Alaska Center for Deaf & Blind Adults, Anchorage Senior Center, Daybreak Adult Daycare, Serendipity Adult Daycare, the Arc of Anchorage, so people can see when their AnchorRides vehicle is scheduled to pick them up. The Arc of Anchorage is also using the system for their client billing—the computer lets them know when the bus will drop the passengers off at the facility.
  • Next Bus Arrival Signs—you’ve probably seen signs at subway stations that let you know when the next train will arrive. This fall and winter, we will have similar signs at our major transit stations and transfer points—downtown transit center, Dimond transit center, Muldoon hub, Providence and UAA.
  • Automated Passenger Counters are on 40 of our 55 buses and will be on all buses by this fall. APCs count where people get on & off the bus. This information is used to calculate passenger miles for federal reporting, and to determine what bus stops get shelters, benches, and trash cans.
  • CommandPoint is a system developed by AVAIL Technologies (our Systems Integrator) to manage day-to-day operations. The system identifies buses that are running behind schedule so dispatchers can help to get them back on schedule.
Future ITS for our systems include:
  • Ability for AnchorRides passengers to automatically book, cancel and/or confirm their trips.
  • New fare boxes to automatically sell passes
  • Low-priority Transit Signal Preemption
  • Actual bus arrival time information via cell phones
IT GIS:

Anchorage Integrated GIS Transportation Network (“Roadnet”): A SINGLE GIS mapping layer for all MOA GIS users and the public was just published March 2008 that enhances transit and emergency dispatch (everyone is using the same map, not different maps). The new roads data layer is also used as the base mapping layer for transportation planning traffic computer model, “My Neighborhood”, and many other applications, and will eventually support real-time traffic and congestion monitoring, and 511 traveler information.

TRAFFIC:
  • Traffic Signal System Upgrade
  • 511 for Traveler Information: linked to www.Anchorageroads.org
  • Road Conditions Acquisitions and Reporting System (CARS): Supports inter-agency coordination and 511 Traveler Information
  • Shared Traveler Information and Traffic Database (eventually will support real-time traveler information, see Future Projects, below)
  • Asset Management System (for example, GIS-based sign inventory)  

Final Maintenance Plan December 7, 2012 

  • Click here for document.  

Anchorage Regional ITS Architecture Final Report - Version 1.1
Revised and Approved by
AMATS Policy Committee Oct. 14, 2004

    • Transportation Planning / AMATS
    • Director: Jerry Weaver
    • 4700 Elmore Road
    • (907) 343-7991