by Leila Khalkhali, PE
On February 7, ASCE MLAB hosted a tour of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Traffic Management Center (TMC). The TMC is located in Glendale, CA and serves as the operations focal point for maximizing traffic flow and reducing congestion and is the hub for emergency response efforts and freeway incidents management on the Los Angeles County and Ventura County freeway system.
The tour was led by Caltrans TMC team Dr. Morteza Fahrtash, PE and Mr. David Lau, PE and our K-12 outreach committee co-chair Leila Khalkhali, PE. Approximately 20 people attended this technical tour.
The Caltrans District 7 and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Southern Division have combined their expertise to operate the TMC as working example of inter-departmental cooperation. The TMC is much more than just moving cars. Caltrans improves the mobility of people, goods, services, and information across California, while CHP works to provide safety, service, and security on state freeways and highways.
The TMC team manages and monitors 42 freeways and highways totaling 1,188 freeway miles. An average on one hundred million vehicle miles are traveled daily on this system; this is equivalent of over 4,000 trips around the globe.
Across the country, transportation agencies are applying advance communications technologies known as Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to improve transportation safety, mobility, efficiency and dependability. In 2007, Caltrans, as collaborating TMC partner, was a recipient of the “Best of ITS Award” by ITS America, a world-wide ITS program that honors the most innovative, effective and influential achievements in the ITS industry.