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PennDOT Wins National Award for Safety and Efficiency of PA Roadways

by PennDOT

Feb 11, 2021

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) was recently recognized with two 2020 Annual Transportation Systems Management & Operations (TSMO) awards presented by the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE).

“I am so proud of the department and the recognition that we’ve received,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “These awards showcase the dedication and passion of our Operations team to continually improve safety and congestion on our roadways.”

TSMO is a set of integrated strategies to optimize the performance of operations on existing infrastructure through implementation of multimodal, cross-jurisdictional systems, services, and projects designed to preserve capacity and improve security, safety, and reliability of a transportation system. Simply put, TSMO is focused on improving how roadways operate within the restraints of PennDOT’s existing roadway infrastructure.

PennDOT’s TSMO Performance Program and Traffic Operations Analytics (TOA) Tool won first place for Best TSMO Project of the year. The Performance Program brought together internal and external information allowing for more data-driven outcomes for congestion planning, incident response, and safety for all motorists. By housing the data on one TOA platform, team members quickly found that crowd sourced data from Waze and INRIX detected 86.7% of reportable crashes on major roads and created solutions for Operations personnel to increase the timeliness of incident detection. The Performance Program also created the first ever “congestion pie chart,” which allows Planning partners and PennDOT better understand the cause of congestion, thus more effectively tailor TSMO solutions to meet those needs. This data will lead to safer work zones, queue protection corridor deployments in the field, and timely incident detection to help reduce secondary crashes.

PennDOT’s TSMO Regional Operations Plans won first place for Project Selection and Prioritization. Regional Operations Plans were developed in cooperation with stakeholders including metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and rural planning organizations (RPOs), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, local emergency responders, transit agencies, universities, the local National Weather Service office, as well as PennDOT staff from across the state. Regional Operations Plans play an important role in regional Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) processes by helping to secure future capital funding for projects incorporating TSMO solution. The plans resulted in strong relationships with planning partners leading buy-in and funding support.

For more information on the PennDOT’s TSMO Efforts, visit

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