Use Cases

Use Case:

Conduct an After-Action Review

When your department reacts to a major incident, an after-action review is a chance to look back and document what happened

After-action Reviews are a cornerstone of State’s TSM&O and TIM programs, providing agencies with actionable intel on an incident or event that can be used for better management strategies for future occurrences, demonstrate the benefit of quick clearance practices and improve cross-agency coordination and communication.

Using RITIS can provide the hard data analytics to develop event profiling for after-action reports: how long did it take to respond to and clear the incident? Were the rescue vehicles dispatched a good fit for the job? Were the messages displayed on digital signs accurate and helpful? How much delay occurred? What roads were affected? And what was the cost to travelers?

Answering these questions help you quantify performance impacts to your roadway system, identify improvements to your Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and justify requests for additional funding, positions, and equipment.

We’ve collected a few examples about how transportation agencies have used RITIS to collect data and create visualizations for their after-action reviews, to help clearly covey their message about TSM&O / TIM program effectiveness to senior leadership, government officials and the public.


Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments: PM Winter Weather Clipper System

What Happened

In the afternoon peak hours on Wednesday, January 20th 2016, a sudden and unexpected snow hit cold road surfaces in and around the National Capital Region. This resulted in only about an inch of accumulation, but created icy surface conditions, resulting in extremely hazardous driving conditions that lasted 17 hours before the situation returned to normal.

MWCOG’S Response

MWCOG (a regional partnership in the National Capital Region) used PDA Suite for an After-action Review to ascertain the transportation impacts of the clipper system that affected the Washington region.

Let’s look at their most important process for preparing for their after-action review:

Storm Impact Profiling

Trend Map visualizes the impact of the storm to the NCR roadways compared to normal traffic conditions, using animated performance mapping. This helps highlight areas of severe congestion and delay spatially and temporally, to help develop better procedures and mitigation strategies for future events.

PDA Suite-generated results were used to develop a technical memorandum in support of after action reviews by NCR Transportation Planning Board decision-makers, ensuring a thorough understanding of the event, its impacts and how to be better prepared for similar future events. It also improved operational strategies, such as increased Safety Service Patrol coverage, targeted salting operations, more concise DMS messages, and better interagency communication and coordination.

I-70 Fatality Incident

What Happened

On Saturday, October 29, 2016 at around 4:30 AM, a car traveling on I-70 WB hit a deer, then a tractor trailer hit the car and jack-knifed, resulting in one fatality. All lanes were closed in the WB direction for over 7 hours, it took about 11 hours to fully clear the incident and reopen all lanes.

MDOT’S Response

MDOT led an after-action review with its partner agencies to study how the incident affected area traffic, and how well the responding teams were able to clear the incident and restore roads to normal conditions.

Let’s look at their three main processes for preparing for their after-action review:

Map the Incident Location

To start, the Event Query Tool was used to locate the incident on a map. Clicking on the Collision icon generates an Event details pop-up, that also provides links to operator notes and an Event Timeline, for a complete portrayal of how the incident was responded to and cleared.

Visualize the Accident’s Impact

The Region Explorer was used to determine traffic “choke points” (bottlenecks) that occurred during the incident, during specific times of the day. Clicking on a bottleneck gives additional insight into queueing and travel time characteristics over time.
Trend Map was used to determine the significance of delay the incident had on I-70 and the surrounding roadway network. This animated mapping displays changing conditions over time, helping agencies to gain insight of the incident’s impacts to area traffic during the investigation and accident clearance efforts.
The Congestion Scan tool was used to visualize and evaluate the historical extent of speed reductions and queues for primary route impacted (I-70 WB), and added to the after-action review for impact discussion and emphasis.

Analyze the Financial Impact

The User Delay Cost Analysis tool helped put a dollar value on the accident’s impact, to show the cost to travelers during the incident and to help prove the value of MDOT’s TSM&O program and Quick Clearance practices.

MDOT used five RITIS tools to generate material for their presentation.

Here’s what MDOT said the top benefits were:

Increased Efficiency

Quick, comprehensive data access, analysis and report-ready results help make the after-action review more timely, comprehensive and relevant.

Demonstrated Benefits

Clear, concise results provide the visuals to show Quick Clearance Practice and TSM&O Program effectiveness.

Better Justification

Thoroughly documented results provide increased chances for funding, positions and equipment.

Improved Decision-making

All the above helped persuade internal & external partners to improve current practices.

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