Transportation systems management (TSM) involves managing and operating existing transportation facilities to maximize their capacity, building a safer and more efficient transportation system, and reducing the need for widening roadways or building new roadways to address congestion. VISION 2050 makes a number of TSM recommendations so that the Region’s existing streets and highways are used as efficiently as possible.
Note: VISION 2050 is currently being updated. To learn more, visit the 2024 Review & Update page.
Improve and expand freeway traffic management
Implement measures to improve the operational control, incident management, and advisory information on the regional freeway system. Some measures are already in place in some parts of the Region, and should be expanded and enhanced. Certain measures are not currently in use, or are not widely used, and should be considered for future implementation. The State's Traffic Management Center (TMC) in Milwaukee is essential to implementing freeway traffic management measures.
Operational control measures improve freeway operation during peak periods and incidents, by monitoring operating conditions and controlling traffic on and entering the freeway. Measures to expand and enhance include traffic detectors and freeway on-ramp meters. Measures to also consider include strategies that adjust the rate vehicles enter the freeway, lane use control to assist with incident management, active speed limit control in response to incidents, part-time shoulder use during rush hour, and lane restrictions for trucks during rush hour.
Incident management measures detect, confirm, and remove as quickly as possible incidents on freeways, and on freeway shoulders, including crashes, debris, and stopped vehicles. Examples include freeway service patrols, closed-circuit television cameras, freeway location reference markers, crash investigation sites, ramp closure devices, and alternate route designations.
Advisory information measures provide real-time information on current travel conditions to motorists.
Enhance advisory information
Expand and enhance advisory measures that provide real-time information on current travel conditions to motorists. These measures include variable message signs (such as hybrid variable/static travel time signs), the WisDOT traveler information website (www.511WI.gov), and partnerships to enable the exchange of traffic information and data that can be accessed via computers, mobile devices, and in-car navigation systems.
Improve and expand coordinated traffic signal systems
Improve existing coordinated traffic signal systems and expand such systems to all streets that are not currently coordinated and have traffic signals spaced every one-half mile or less. Coordinated traffic signal systems provide efficient progression of traffic along streets and highways, allowing motorists to travel through multiple signalized intersections without stopping. Approximately 1,200 of the 1,700 traffic signals in the Region are currently part of a coordinated signal system. Commission staff should work with State and local governments to document existing and planned arterial signals and develop recommendations for improving and expanding coordinated signal systems.
Improve arterial street and highway traffic flow at intersections
Implement intersection improvements to increase travel efficiency and improve safety on streets by adding two- or four-way stop control, roundabouts, or signalization; improving signal timing at individual signalized intersections; adding right- and/or left-turn lanes; adding bike lane pavement markings through intersections; or adding leading pedestrian intervals at signalized intersections.
Implement parking management and guidance systems in major activity centers
Reduce the congestion caused by drivers circling for parking in downtowns and other major activity centers by implementing or expanding parking management and guidance systems. These systems are currently in Downtown Milwaukee and at Bayshore in Glendale, and use digital signs to direct drivers to available parking spots.
Implement demand-responsive pricing for parking in major activity centers
Improve parking availability and reduce traffic congestion in downtowns and other major activity centers by adjusting the price for on-street parking, parking lots, and parking garages throughout the day based on the parking demand in the area. If implemented correctly, at least one parking space on each block would be available at all times, allowing those who are willing to pay for premium parking spaces to do so, while parking rates on streets further from a destination are reduced. Motorists could access pricing information online and through smartphone apps, allowing them to find parking easier and faster.