/ Awards / Georgia Department of Transportation Announced as the 2020 NOCoE TSMO Awards Overall Winner

Georgia Department of Transportation Announced as the 2020 NOCoE TSMO Awards Overall Winner

Parul Dubey on September 25, 2020 - in Awards, News

Data initiative could have implications for agencies throughout the nation.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE), announced today that the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) was selected as the 2020 NOCoE TSMO Awards Overall Winner. The announcement was made by Jim Tymon, Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) during a YouTube Live event today.

These awards celebrate the expanding discipline of transportation systems management and operations (TSMO), which aims to get the most out of our existing transportation system by managing and operating networks in an efficient manner that emphasizes safety and mobility. This includes empowering the workforce with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to consistently improve the transportation system. Case studies of outstanding work, like this award winning Georgia DOT project, assist in the effort to share knowledge and empower the broader workforce.

Georgia DOT was selected from among 46 entries and the four finalists, each of whom had already been selected as a category winner in the annual awards. Georgia won the “Best Use of Data to Improve TSMO” category before becoming the program’s Overall Winner. Their entry, entitled “Improving TSMO in Georgia Using Data,” highlighted Georgia DOT’s development of a traffic data management and reporting system that saves the state hundreds of hours in staff time and $250,000 per year. To read Georgia DOT’s case study, please click here.

Georgia DOT worked with FHWA to develop its own Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPM) and built upon the work already accomplished by Indiana and Utah Departments of Transportation with Purdue University to develop performance measures that characterized flow rates and quality of traffic signal timing coordination. Launched in January 2018, Georgia DOT’s Measurement, Accuracy, and Reliability Kit (MARK 1) automated the reporting system, replacing manual procedures that had been in place for five years. 

Meg Pirkle, chief engineer for Georgia DOT, said of winning the award, “I’ve often said we have the best operations team in the nation, and so this award is really the result of their passion and their brilliance.” She later continued, “We’ve got to make the most of the system we have…Georgia is definitely a growing state. So many vital sectors depend on safe, efficient, and reliable transportation, so I don’t see TSMO waning in importance at all. It is always going to be the focus of, how do we make the most of our system because of the limited dollars we have to expand.”

NOCoE’s Managing Director Patrick Son believes Georgia DOT’s program has implications for other agencies. “Georgia DOT’s approach to build upon solutions from peers demonstrates the value of NOCoE’s mission to transfer knowledge amongst industry practitioners,” he said. “The analysis and decision making capabilities their solution is enabling, are crucial to the efficient management of traffic. Their collaboration with Utah is exactly the kind of knowledge transfer we’re committed to at NOCoE.”

Below are the 2020 NOCoE TSMO Award categories, the winners and runners up:

Agency Improvement: Use of Capability Maturity Model (CMM)

Winner: North Carolina DOT for their “Statewide Central Signal System Initiative”

Runner-up: Georgia DOT for “Georgia’s TSMO Maturity Drives a Safer and More Reliable Commute”

Best TSMO Project 

Winner: Houston TranStar for their “Roadway Flood Warning System”

Runner-up: Arizona DOT for their “SR-51 Adaptive Ramp Metering”

Best Use of Management of Data to Improve TSMO

Winner: Georgia DOT for their entry on “Improving TSMO in Georgia Using Data”

Runner-up: City of Bellevue, WA for their entry on “Development of Bellevue Integration Map for Incident Management”

TSMO Workforce Development

Winner: Washington State DOT for their “TSMO Workforce Development Program”

Runner-up: Maryland DOT for their “SHA Organizational Modernization to Advance TSMO”

The NOCoE TSMO Awards are open to cities, counties, MPOs (RPO, COG), state DOTs and private sector organizations. Winners in each of the four categories highlighted a successful TSMO project undertaken in the last five years that provided a clear benefit to the traveling public.

Submissions for next year’s awards are open as of today and will be accepted until early December. Two new categories have been announced:

  • Work Zones and TSMO 
  • Project Selection and Prioritization for TSMO

For more information on the  NOCoE TSMO Awards, please visit: https://transportationops.org/tsmoaward.


About the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) 

The mission of NOCoE is to empower the TSMO community to succeed by building its knowledge, skills and abilities. NOCoE supports practitioners who operate the nation’s transportation management systems, by connecting them with best-practices and experts to save lives, time and money. Born of a partnership of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) with support from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), we serve those in state departments of transportation, regional planning organizations, municipalities, local agencies as well as private sector organizations. For more information, please visit www.transportationops.org



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