4.5.3 Proposed Integration Approach for Data Archiving in the CHART II Design

CHART has long been seen as a statewide system and the integration approach for data archiving reinforces that statewide perspective. For example, the use of the ITS derived data by MDSHA’s Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering (OPPE) in implementing statewide measures of system performance, such as those being developed by the Congestion Measures Team, will depend upon data not only directly collected by CHART, but also on data collected by others, such as (1) Montgomery County, who has intersection data for State arterial highways within Montgomery County, or (2) MdTA, who collects ITS data for key bridges, tunnels, and toll roads throughout Maryland. Thus, for the CHART II Data Archive to be most effective for this particular major ADUS stakeholder, the archive should be a centralized archive that retains appropriate data gathered in a decentralized way by other agencies within Maryland. Such a need has significant data storage and cost implications for the CHART II data archiving requirements.

The MDSHA OPPE has a significant annual budget for data collection and a significant proportion of their data needs appear to be obtainable from CHART II after its implementation. That could result in a series of future potential cost saving benefits to the overall MDSHA budget if an appropriate level of investment is made in the ADUS storage by the CHART II design and implementation. This potential for an overall cost saving to MDSHA, to have a more centralized and complete ADUS, could be the basis of a cost sharing arrangement by the different units within MDSHA.

On the other hand, the OPPE has indicated that the frequency of collection of data for their needs is not a real time one, but rather could be satisfied through a periodic sampling over a contiguous seven day period, each quarter, each year for a full 24 hours in 15 minute increments over each of those days. Other special requests, at other times, would also need to be accommodated. While this temporal sampling could reduce the data archiving storage costs if OPPE were the only stakeholder, other stakeholder groups may have other needs at those same locations for other time periods, thereby increasing such storage costs. Thus, rather than having a cost sharing or charge-back procedure, it may be administratively less complex, and lower in administrative costs for the CHART operations, to simply provide all necessary archiving costs as a "customer service" to any and all ADUS stakeholders as one of the costs of performing CHART’s overall mission. Our CHART II design takes the position that "simpler is better" and assumes this latter customer service approach to data archiving.

The CSC/PBFI Team is proposing four levels of integration for access to the ADUS:

  1. Access to the ADUS through the workstations established for the other operations or ATIS oriented agencies, which include: (a) the Montgomery County ATMS, (b) the Howard County signal system, (c) VDOT freeways, (d) VDOT signals, (e) MDSHA Planning, (f) MdTA, (g) Partners in Motion, and (h) MDSHA signals.
  2. General access to users on the Maryland Enterprise Network who have appropriate rights,
  3. Establishing access rights similar to the Maryland Enterprise Network for the two main Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MWCOG/TPB and BMC), and for several county planning agencies with very active Adequate Public Facilities Ordinances that depend upon current traffic data for conducting and reviewing development impact studies, and
  4. General access to the broader set of stakeholders through the appropriately sized WWW server.

Some of the other operation or ATIS oriented groups have or will be establishing their own data archiving functions or data clearinghouses. The CHART II design has attempted to recognize that so as to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort and to build upon the work and investment of other agencies or partnerships in establishing similar data archives. Such concerns will need to be addressed during the implementation phase of CHART II.

4.5.3.1 Hardware and Software Needs

The hardware and software needs for access to the ADUS vary by the above four levels of integration. The first group will already have workstations provided by CHART to meet operational needs and direct access to the data archives will be part of the workstation functionality. The second group already has their own hardware and communications through the Maryland Enterprise Network and simply needs appropriate access and training in use of the ADUS. For the third group, it may be beneficial to CHART for it to provide for the hardware and communications that may simplify system compatibility with whatever systems or networks those agencies use. Such an arrangement is assumed in the overall costing of the CHART II design. The fourth group comes with their own hardware and this is seen as an extension of the WWW home page functionality of the current CHART system.