Federal Experience in TOPICS

by Hugh B. Henry, Chf.; Design Div., Federal Highway Administration, Portland, OR,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 3, Pg. 509-513

Document Type: Journal Paper


TOPICS, or Traffic Operations Program to Increase Capacity and Safety, was initiated to assist urban areas in relieving traffic congestion. Emphasis is on achieving maximum efficiency quickly by means of low cost construction at bottleneck locations which prevent full utilization of existing capacity along the remainder of the route. Guidelines are written to encourage use of new and innovative concepts to obtain quick results in relieving traffic congestion and hazards. Congress has authorized $600,000,000 to date, which must be matched on a 50-50 basis with State or local funds in the same manner as federal-aid urban funds. The program has not advanced at the rate anticipated; so, in an effort to accelerate much needed improvements, federal procedures have been modified to the maximum extent consistent with existing legislation. Experience to date strongly indicates the program is responsive to a broad spectrum of traffic operation needs, resulting in reduction of accidents and improved mobility in urban areas.

Subject Headings: Traffic congestion | Traffic safety | Traffic capacity | Urban areas | Traffic accidents | Federal government | Construction costs | Routing (transportation)

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