The regional transportation operations plan (RTOP), as documented in SEWRPC Memorandum Report No. 202, Regional Transportation Operations Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin: 2012-2016, is a short-range plan listing the transportation systems management actions, or transportation systems operations measures, which are recommended for priority implementation over the next five years. The RTOP was prepared by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission staff under the guidance of the Commission’s Advisory Committee on Regional Transportation Planning.
The Commission’s long-range regional transportation plan (RTP) is documented in SEWRPC Planning Report No. 49, A Regional Transportation System Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin: 2035. The RTP has a horizon year of 2035 and recommends public transit, bicycle and pedestrian, arterial street and highway, travel demand management, and transportation systems management (TSM) measures proposed to be implemented over the next 25 years. This RTOP is intended to identify those TSM, or operations measures, in the RTP which are recommended for priority implementation over the next five years. The RTOP report includes a description of the TSM recommendations of the RTP. These measures include freeway traffic management (operational control, advisory information, and incident management), surface arterial traffic management (traffic signal coordination, intersection improvements, parking restrictions, access management, and advisory information), and major activity center parking management and guidance.
In October, 2011, the Commission staff requested each County, City, Village, and Town in Southeastern Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to identify candidate TSM projects for the years 2012 through 2016 to be evaluated, and prioritized for implementation, particularly with respect to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funding. The RTOP report provides a listing of the candidate projects, describes and presents the evaluation of these projects, and provides a priority listing of the projects. Candidate projects would continue to be solicited on a four year cycle, with the next solicitation of projects in the fall of 2015. The prioritization of TSM projects presented in this RTOP will be used in the next two CMAQ funding cycles, the first to request projects in 2012, with projects to be implemented in 2013 through 2015, and the next to request projects in 2014, with projects to be implemented in 2015 through 2017.
The preparation of the RTP for Southeastern Wisconsin, its reappraisal on a four year cycle, its major reevaluation and extension on a ten year cycle, and its refinement through more detailed planning and programming efforts—including the RTOP—provide the planning and process addressing travel congestion in Southeastern Wisconsin, as summarized in SEWRPC Memorandum Report No. 203, Congestion Management Process in Southeastern Wisconsin. This planning and process addressing congestion includes: 1) definition of congestion management objectives and performance measures; 2) a program for data collection and system performance monitoring, including the evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of implemented actions; 3) testing and evaluation of alternative transportation plans and strategies including their effects on congestion; 4) identification of recommended actions and implementation schedules, responsibilities, and possible funding; and 5) the periodic assessment of the effectiveness of implemented strategies particularly with respect to the established performance measures.