Traffic Operations

Share via:

The Division of Traffic Operations consists of 320 technical and administrative staff in nine offices responsible for planning, design, and analysis of highway safety and traffic operational improvements; traffic management activities and operations as well encroachment permit, on over 700 miles of freeway and expressways and 1500 miles of conventional highways.

OFFICE OF TRAFFIC OPERATIONS STRATEGIES develops and implements Traffic Operations Strategies (TOPS) for the District, addressing congestion trip reliability and safety through better system management and new technology. In addition, the TOPS Manager provides guidance and establishes priorities for traffic operations strategies, that support corridor and system-wide transportation improvements, for Corridor System Management Plans (CSMP) and Corridor Plans (CP). The TOPS Manager focuses on the implementation of projects identified, working with district functional units to ensure that projects are programmed, designed and constructed. The TOPS Manager is also responsible for coordinating TOPS with adjoining Caltrans Districts, and promotes local and regional transportation partnerships.

OFFICE OF ELECTRICAL DESIGN and OPERATIONS designs and reviews all electrical system projects in the District including traffic signals, highway lighting, ramp metering, Changeable Message Signs (CMSs) Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs), Highway Advisory Radios (HARs), fog horns, navigational and warning lights on bridge structures, planned improvements in toll-bridge and tunnels, power distribution and toll collection supervisory control systems. The Office is also responsible for the operation of over 1000 signals in the District. In addition, the Office develops software for signals and signal system operations.

OFFICE OF ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS provides support for operation of Traffic Operations Systems (TOS) equipment such as traffic monitoring stations, ramp metering systems, Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTVs), Changeable Message Signs (CMSs) Highway Advisory Radio (HARs), and Extinguishable Message Signs (EMSs). The office also provides support for the Traffic Management Center (TMC) which compiles, monitors, and disseminates traffic information to minimize impact to the traveling public. In addition, the office reviews the design of the systems developed by consultants, in cooperation with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission or other stakeholder, integrating TOS components into a compatible system for the integration with the TMC.

OFFICE OF HIGHWAY OPERATIONSperforms all traffic operational analyses including freeway, interchange and intersection analyses in support of project scoping documents, environmental clearance, project alternatives analysis, project design, and corridor studies for projects on which the Department is the lead. This office reviews traffic operational analyses for projects sponsored by other agencies. This Office supports the development and implementation of transportation management plans (TMP) by providing lane closure hours, detour routes, assessment of delay impacts, and construction support. This Office monitors freeway congestion by using automated Performance Measurement System (PeMS) and supplement that using probe vehicles for the Bay Area State of the System report. In close coordination with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the California Highway Patrols (CHP), this office also manages and monitors the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes as well as the express lanes on state facilities. In addition, this office updates and maintains the District's traffic census and inventory data. This Office investigates and responds to complaints regarding traffic operations from motoring public as well as state and local officials, identifies operational improvement projects, reviews IGR/CEQA documents and encroachment permits, and coordinates with the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) on the operation and proposed improvements for all state-operated toll bridges, including FasTrak lanes. This Office also provides input to research related to traffic flow, HOV lanes and high occupancy/toll (HOT) lanes.

OFFICE OF ENCROACHMENT PERMITS processes permit applications and issues permits to applicants for highway improvements to construct approved facilities or to conduct specified activities. The Office’s primary objectives are to protect, maintain and enhance the quality of the State Highway System during and after permitted work, ensure the safety of both the highway users and the permit applicant, ensure that the proposed encroachment is compatible with primary uses of the State Highway System, protect the State’s investment in the highway facility and document temporary uses of highway right of way for special events, filming, etc.

OFFICE OF TRAFFIC SAFETY is primarily involved in assessment and analysis of traffic safety on state highways. The office is responsible for the design of signing and striping components for Bay Area highways and freeways, maintains sign logs, maintains accident records, provides services for District Claims and Legal Support Offices, conducts speed zone studies and administers the District’s Traffic Safety Program. The Office also investigates complaints about traffic safety and operational problems and responds to public inquiries and initiates corrective action where needed. In addition, the Office also administers and develops Project Study Reports (PSRs) and Project Reports (PRs) for the purpose of programming projects into the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) for safety or operational improvements.

OFFICE OF TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT The District Traffic Manager's (DTM) Office has the responsibility of emphasizing the importance of traffic management and inclusion of related components in all construction, maintenance and permits activities on the State Highway System. The DTM advises Caltrans management on traffic matters and proposes changes to District and State policies on traffic management issues. The DTM Office provides services in three areas: 1) The Lane Closure System (LCS) unit reviews, approves and coordinates lane closures from construction, maintenance and permits activities on the freeways and highways in the Bay Area to minimize their traffic impacts to the traveling public; 2) The Traffic Management Team (TMT) unit provides field traffic management support through the use of Changeable Message Sign (CMS) Trucks for providing motorists information and traffic monitoring activities for incidents, non-permitted special events and selected high profile or sensitive closures; 3) The Transportation Management Center (TMC) unit provides real-time system wide Transportation Management System (TMS) services to monitor and manage traffic flow and provide information to motorists. The TMC facility operates 24 hours a day and is staffed by three regional partnered agencies -- the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).

OFFICE OF TRAFFIC SYSTEMS is responsible for the reviewing, planning, and development of the Traffic Operations System (TOS) for the District. The office prepares and develops Project Study Reports (PSRs) and Project Reports (PRs) for the implementation of TOS equipment such as traffic monitoring stations, ramp metering systems, Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs), Changeable Message Signs (CMSs) and, Highway Advisory Radios (HARs). The office also reviews large projects (e.g. freeway widening and interchange modifications) for opportunities to install these TOS elements. The office is also involved in the development and operation of the district’s Park and Ride Lot system. The office monitors intelligent transportation strategies with our transportation partners, and operates and maintains over 230 ramp meters in the Bay Area. In addition, the Office operates the Transportation Management Center (TMC), with its traffic monitoring components (detector stations and CCTVs), the Freeway Service Patrol (FSP), and its motorist information components such as CMSs and HARs. The TMC coordinates with the CHP and Bay Area 511 to provide real-time traffic information to the motoring public and is heavily involved in disaster planning and incident management due to natural or manmade causes such as earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks, etc.

OFFICE OF TRUCK SERVICES communicates with the two Regional Transportation Permits Offices (located in Sacramento and San Bernardino) and the various District 4 functional units, including Planning, Programming, Project Development, Construction, Maintenance, Traffic Operations and Transportation Management Centers (TMCs). It reviews all programming and design documents including Project Study Reports (PSRs), Project Reports (PRs), Project Study Scoping Reports (PSSRs), and Plans, Specifications and Estimates (PS&Es), where they may impact extra legal loads. This Office is responsible for providing data on temporary and permanent changes of highway systems to ensure vertical and horizontal clearance which may impact routing of extra legal loads or designation as part of the National Network. It ensures the information is accurate, up-to-date and communicated to the appropriate Regional Transportation permits office. Office of Truck Services also responds to inquiries from law enforcement and public agencies regarding trucking issues. It works closely with Roadway Rehabilitation Program advisor in Headquarters and Districts to communicate the trucking industry interests. Additionally, this Office consults with the trucking industry to obtain and initiate major project improvements, minor signing/striping projects, and other miscellaneous projects for improved truck routing and goods movement.

OFFICE OF TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT PLANS coordinates and facilitates the preparation, development and implementation of transportation projects' TMPs throughout the project's life cycle; from project initiation to project completion.

TMPs, per State and Federal mandates, are the required documents to be included as part of the PSE package before the beginning of the advertising process within the Caltrans competitive bid system. The Office of TMP coordinates and manages Corridor-based integration of TMPs along major corridors and planned special events. Additionally, the Office of TMP integrates traffic management activities among various divisions within Caltrans; such as Maintenance, Construction, Design, Operations and outside agencies.

TMP Office not only manages significant and complex projects utilizing technical expertise within the Div. of Operations as well as consultant services to compile/validate traffic data, micro and macro traffic models to be used in the analysis but also engages in the development of the project cost analysis, constructability, and traffic impact mitigation aspects of the project and decision making process for major closures and activities with the involvement of all stakeholders.

Currently, the TMP Office oversees planned/on-going projects including Doyle Drive replacement, SFOBB(OTD), Route 880/92 I/C modifications, Caldecott Tunnel, Route 680 rehabilitation, US101 rehabilitation, Route 4 corridor, Dumbarton Bridge and San Mateo Bridge retrofit projects.

Statewide Alerts and Other Information

Caltrans Logo