Tennessee Traffic Opperations Program Plan 2017

Tennessee Department of Transportation

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Traffic Operations Program Plan has been developed to support the advancement of transportation systems management and operations (TSM&O) strategies within the State of Tennessee. TSM&O strategies seek to optimize the performance of the existing transportation infrastructure by preserving capacity of roadways, increasing reliability of the system, and improving safety and efficiency for travelers. These strategies directly support TDOT’s operational goals for system operation and preservation.

In Tennessee, as in much of the United States, vehicle miles traveled has far outpaced the growth of public road lane miles. In the face of funding constraints that make new construction difficult, optimizing the performance of existing transportation infrastructure using TSM&O strategies has become a critical component of traffic operations. The TSM&O goals and objectives, shown in the table below, provide direction for the cost-effective implementation of the TDOT TSM&O program. The TSM&O goals and objectives are closely aligned with TDOT’s overall operational goals for system operation and system preservation, and they directly support TDOT’s overall mission of providing a safe and reliable transportation system in Tennessee.

This document provides three levels of perspective for the implementation of TSM&O programs in Tennessee: Strategic Level, Program Level, and Deployment Level.
The strategic-level perspective provides a high-level view that ties the TSM&O goals and objectives in the table above to TDOT’s organizational vision and mission. To achieve the TSM&O goals and objectives, TDOT has identified six cross-cutting strategies. The cross-cutting strategies each support multiple goals and objectives and are tied to specific action items that will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

TDOT’s six TSM&O cross-cutting strategies are to:

  • Optimize existing operations infrastructure and capabilities;
  • Strategically expand operations infrastructure, partnerships, and capabilities to meet future needs;
  • Identify and prepare for the next generation of operational strategies and technologies;
  • Monitor performance of the transportation system;
  • Integrate operations into TDOT culture and processes; and
  • Elevate public awareness of operations.

The program-level perspective describes how TDOT is organized to best implement TSM&O projects and programs. This section includes the roles and responsibilities for each office within the TDOT Traffic Operations Division and describes the relationship between the TDOT Traffic Operations Division, other TDOT Divisions, and the four TDOT Regions. It also describes fiscal requirements for staffing and maintaining the various components of TSM&O-related ITS capabilities throughout the state, and it introduces a method of ranking priority corridors and project deployments against one another to determine an implementation priority.

Finally, the deployment-level perspective introduces the Three-Year Strategic Deployment Plan, which includes proposed program and project deployments that will allow TDOT to achieve its TSM&O goals and objectives. This Three-Year Strategic Deployment Plan prioritizes deployments for the TDOT Traffic Operations Division and Regions and includes a wide variety of programs, projects, staff development, and research initiatives.

In addition to discussing how TSM&O strategies will be implemented, the TDOT Traffic Operations Program Plan identifies quantifiable performance measures that can be used to gauge the effectiveness of TSM&O program implementation efforts. These performance measures are organized into eight activity groups that range from Traffic Incident Management Operations, to ITS Maintenance, to Work Zone Operations. Without the use of performance measures, it becomes difficult to determine what real impacts the deployment of TSM&O projects have on safety, efficiency, reliability, and preservation of the transportation system.

The Traffic Operations Program Plan is a living document that will change over time. The Three-Year Strategic Deployment Plan should be updated annually as projects are completed and new projects are introduced. In addition, the full document should be updated at a minimum of every three years to allow for the discussion of newly available strategies and changes to TDOT’s organizational structure and priorities.

Source Organization Location


Organizational Capability Element

  • Leadership/Championship

Content Type

  • Best Practice

Role in Organization

  • Director / Program Manager
  • Engineer
  • Manager / First Line Supervisor
  • Principal Engineer
  • Senior Engineer

Maturity Level of Program

  • Assessment (L1)
  • Deployment (L3)

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Issue Date
June 30th, 2020
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