An incident management program cannot be truly successful unlss there is a cooperative, coordinated attitude on the part of each of the agencies involved. The working relationship between the traffic engineering, maintenance, and enforcement organizations is particularly critical. All have a legitimate responsibility and authority at an accident scene; all have resources to help correct the situation and get traffic flowing normally again. Local agencies need to be included, too -- detoured traffic will frequently be operating on city streets. A host of other authorities also will be involved: fire departments, tow truck services, ambulance services, etc. The key is to meet together before an emergency and to plan how each agency can coordinate its necessary work with that of the other members of the team, all working toward a common goal. And keep in mind, from a traffic flow point of view, the goal is to get traffic back to normal as quickly as possible. Invariably, with this kind of informal multidisciplinary team, the question will come up: "Who's in charge?" In Los Angeles, the answer is that no one agency is in charge; consensus decisions are made by the team. This may fly in the face of some organizational theorists, but in the real world, it works well. (Author)

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    • This paper appeared in Transportation Research Circular N298, Traffic Management and Planning for Freeway Emergencies and Special Events. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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    Transportation Research Board

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  • Authors:
    • Roper, D H
  • Publication Date: 1986-1

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  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Pagination: p. 19
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  • Accession Number: 00457135
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2004 10:01PM