ITE Journal - March 2020 - 40

The 2019 Traffic Signal Benchmarking and State of the Practice
Report is part of the continuing effort to raise awareness of the
importance of and need for investment in the management and
operations of traffic signal programs.1 This effort-combined with
research, training, technical assistance and outreach provided by the
Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Arterial Management
Program-is part of an evolving effort to improve, apply, and assess
how the incorporation of programmatic, objectives and performance-based management approaches can enhance the ability of
organizations to deliver on safety, mobility, and reliability goals.
This article will present the results of the capability and
maturity component of the 2019 Traffic Signal Benchmarking and
State of the Practice Report Card. We will also discuss how the
approach for developing the report evolved from and is distinctly
different from its predecessors. Finally, we will share the latest
information on successful approaches to traffic signal program

Figure 1. 2019 National Traffic Signal Report Card.
C	

2019 National Traffic Signal Report Card
The 2019 Traffic Signal Benchmarking and State of the Practice
Report has two components. The first component is the scorecard,
which applies the FWHA Traffic Signal Systems Capability
Maturity Framework to evaluate how effectively organizations
support sustained attainment of their most important objectives.
The FHWA Traffic Signal Systems Capability Maturity Framework,
consistent with the AASHTO guidance, identifies six dimensions of
capability. The six dimensions of capability were projected on to a
Traffic Signal Program Model developed by FWHA, which breaks
a traffic signal program into four program areas (Systems and
Technology, Workforce, Business Processes and Management, and
Administration) with a central focus on supporting objectives. To
be consistent with the typical division of labor within traffic signal
programs, the program area and capability maturity dimension
of business processes were sub-divided into the areas of design,
operation, and maintenance. To distinguish between the hard
infrastructure such as poles, mast arms, and signal indications from
system components such as traffic signal controllers, communications, and detection devices; the AASHTO dimension of systems
and technology was divided into Infrastructure and Systems and
Technology. The scores provided for each of the dimensions is an
aggregate of 144 responses to the Self Assessment, distributed in
May 2018 to collect capability maturity and benchmarking data.
The collective state and local agencies that completed the 2018 Self
Assessment are responsible for the management of approximately 24
percent of the estimated 327,860 signals in the United States.
By combining the capability maturity assessment technique
with the traffic signal program model, the presence of gaps in
capability can be assessed as an indicator of risk. Gaps in organizational capability represent the risks to consistent and sustained
attainment of objectives within any of the four program areas to the
attainment of program goals and objectives. Four broad levels of
maturity and capability are defined (Figure 2) as:
ƒƒ Level 1: Ad Hoc - Activities and relationships largely ad hoc,
informal, and champion-driven, substantially outside the
mainstream of other DOT activities.
ƒƒ Level 2: Established - Basic strategy applications understood; key
processes support requirements identified and key technology
B	

A

FHWA

F	D	

management drawn from observations of leading organizations and
insights gathered from our interaction with them.

Figure 2. Levels of Organizational Capability-Maturity.
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ITE Journal - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - March 2020

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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_March2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_February2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G99495_ITE_October2018
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