My NOCoE SouthEast Peer Exchange Experience By Melissa Eckert

The National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) organized and facilitated the 2016 Southeast Peer Exchange that included representatives from the I-95 Corridor Coalition, the North Carolina DOT, the South Carolina DOT, the Florida DOT and the Virginia DOT. I was given the opportunity to represent the Florida DOT with a colleague of mine from our Central Office. Going into the Peer Exchange, I was excited to be given the opportunity to learn about the various strategies and project my peers were undertaking in the Southeast Florida region. While attending the meetings, I was able to hear from my peers and participate in conversations we had, covering a wide range of topics. The highlights of these conversations for me included the discussion we had on the use of social media by Traffic Management Centers (TMC) and how the TMCs get information on road conditions from social media. Through another conversation, I was able to learn about how agencies who do not have 100% traffic monitoring coverage via CCTV are beginning to explore a new way of monitoring incidents through the use of drones.  

I also found it interesting to hear about how my peers were approaching work zone mobility that included  requirements in construction projects for clearing the roadway when there are lane blocking events within a certain amount of time (lanes to be cleared within 20 minutes, for example). The representative from the I-95 Corridor Coalition also brought to the conversation her perspective of the entire east coast which sparked new ideas for me on how TMCs can use their historical data for trend analysis and prediction. Overall, I am grateful I was given the opportunity to participate in the Peer conversations. I am now trying to figure out how to incorporate what I learned from my peers to the Transportation System Management and Operation (TSM&O) program in Southeast Florida.