Best planning and implementation toolbox

Multimodal Level of Service: ARTPLAN Software:


Purpose of Tool:
ARTPLAN is software that was developed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to aid in determining the multimodal level of service (LOS) of a variety of facilities. This software is primarily used in the planning phase of a transportation project, and it evaluates multiple variables affecting all modes of transportation (automobile, pedestrian, bicycle, and transit) in order to assess the efficiency of the facility. This software allows a more detailed analysis of multimodal operations prior to the preliminary engineering phase of a transportation project. This software is one of the few professionally accepted methodologies for evaluating multimodal LOS.

Benefits of Using Tool:
This software provides a planning level analysis for determining LOS. While it builds on the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) methodologies, it is expanded to account for the entire multimodal system. This approach is beneficial to communities and agencies by providing a more reliable and quantitative multimodal assessment in the planning process.

Steps Involved to Use Tool
In general, this program operates through a series of operational inputs, and LOS information is determined from the analysis of the data. The following steps outline this process:
  • General characteristics of the roadway facility being evaluated are input, or statewide defaults can be used. These characteristics include roadway, traffic, and traffic control variables.
  • Data specific to the intersections along the facility are input.
  • Data pertaining to individual segments within the facility are input, including bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
  • Roadway LOS results are given for the entire facility and broken down into individual segments.
  • Multimodal LOS results are given for bicycling, pedestrian, and bus conditions.
  • Statewide service volume tables are used to give service volumes specific to the roadway under evaluation, for each LOS rating.

    Special Requirements to Use Tool:
    The ARTPLAN software may be downloaded from the FDOT website.

    Specials Resources Needed to Use Tool
    Specific data inputs are necessary to fully utilize the software. These data include: traffic volume, traffic speed, lane configuration, presence of heavy vehicles, traffic control characteristics, and the presence of bike lanes, sidewalks, and transit stops. In most cases, this information is available from local and state transportation agencies.

    Communities / Agencies that Have Used Tool:
    The following agencies have successfully utilized FDOT’s ARTPLAN software:
  • Pinellas County, Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization: The MPO for the Tampa Bay area recently conducted a Level of Service Report for the planning area. This study is conducted annually in an effort to continually improve the performance of the roadway network. It utilizes ARTPLAN as one of its evaluation methods to determine the LOS of roadway inventory. For more information, contact:
    Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization, 727-464-8200
    600 Cleveland Street, Suite 750, Clearwater, FL, 33755
    mpo@pinellascounty.org
  • City of Tarpon Springs, Florida: This city in Pinellas County, Florida utilized ARTPLAN in updating its Comprehensive Plan. Roadway facilities were evaluated to determine the multimodal LOS to assess the need for multimodal improvements. LOS standards were developed that could be used to establish a long-term implementation plan for bicycle, pedestrian, and transit projects. For more information, contact:
    Renea Vincent, Planning and Zoning Division Director, 727-942-5611
    324 E. Pine Street, Tarpon Springs, FL, 34689

    Metrics to Use to Monitor Tool Effectiveness
    This tool is valuable to agencies and communities because it aids in reaching their goals for transportation planning. The tools provides more reliable multimodal LOS data than was previously available, which can be used through the following applications:
  • Making revisions to comprehensive plans
  • Planning bicycle and pedestrian systems and prioritizing projects
  • Evaluating the multimodal transportation system
  • Analyzing conceptual designs and conducting alternatives analysis
  • Engaging in a congestion management process

    List of Resources to Obtain Additional Info
  • FDOT Quality/Level of Service Webpage, http://www.dot.state.fl.us/planning/systems/sm/los/los_sw2.shtm
  • “Overview of FDOT’s Highway Capacity and LOS Preliminary Engineering Software,” Doug McLeod, www.dot.state.fl.us/emo/conferences/EMO2007/BALLROOM%20B/Tuesday%20Sept.%204/02%20Doug%20McLeod_emoconf.ppt
  • City of Tarpon Springs, FL Comprehensive Plan, http://www.ci.tarpon-springs.fl.us/java.html
  • Pinellas County, FL MPO 2008 Level of Service Report, http://www.pinellascounty.org/MPO/PDFs/ls08.pdf