Throughout most of its history, the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, has been a freeway-centric agency: Agency activities focused predominantly on building and managing freeways. In 2011, Caltrans leadership sought to change this situation and established a new focus, seeking collaboration and coordination with other agencies to maximize scarce resources and, ultimately, to improve system-wide performance.
To help achieve its new multi-modal, multi-agency collaborative vision, Caltrans developed the Connected Corridors program in early 2012. The purpose of this program is to look at all opportunities to move people and goods within transportation corridors in the most efficient and safest manner possible, to ensure the greatest potential gains in operational performance across all relevant transportation systems. This includes seeking ways to improve how freeways, arterials, transit, and parking systems work together. Travel demand management strategies and agency collaboration are also actively considered. The program is a collaborative effort to research, develop, test, and deploy a new framework for corridor management in California. It aims to change the way state and local transportation agencies, as well as any additional entity having a stake in the operation of transportation system elements, manage transportation challenges for years to come.
Starting with a pilot system deployment on a section of the I-210 corridor in the San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, Caltrans aims to eventually expand the application of ICM concepts to numerous other corridors throughout California over the next ten years. In this context, the I-210 Pilot is to serve as a test bed to demonstrate how an ICM project can be developed by engaging and building consensus among corridor stakeholders, to address congestion for the betterment of an entire network.