What is CIMS?
CIMS is a corridor-based initiative that brings MnDOT together with its local, modal and state partners to identify opportunities for collaborative and innovative investment. It offers a means to share information and identify opportunities to apply MnDOT’s suite of lower cost, high benefit investment strategies that address safety, access and mobility.
MnDOT will facilitate annual CIMS meetings and an interactive website that brings MnDOT together with its partners to exchange information and discuss opportunities for collaborative and sustainable investment. Investment opportunities identified through the CIMS process will be considered for a competitive solicitation to be launched in 2013. Additionally, for each corridor MnDOT will channel input received through the CIMS process into a 10-year Corridor Outlook, which will be updated annually.
Laying the Foundation
MnDOT’s sustainability initiative ensures MnDOT business practices, services and facilities support economic opportunity, community well-being and the natural environment. Sustainable transportation practices respect, support and regenerate environmental systems, the economy and society over many generations.
In 2011, MnDOT adopted the Minnesota GO Vision that set out to keep Minnesota’s transportation system on a sustainable track for the future.
- Leverage public funds to achieve multiple purposes
- Ensure accessibility
- Build to a maintainable scale
- Ensure regional connections
- Integrate safety
- Emphasize reliable and predictable options
- Strategically fix the system
- Use partnerships
Operationalizing Minnesota GO through CIMS
Given the magnitude and condition of our current transportation system, the state and federal funding realities, and the unlikely reality of additional funds (i.e. earmarks), MnDOT seeks collaborative, sustainable transportation strategies that leverage investments to achieve multiple public purposes.
CIMS provides MnDOT and its partners an ongoing process to:
- Share information about investment programs and the needs, issues and opportunities at a corridor-level; and
- Identify opportunities to collaborate around a suite of lower cost, high benefit strategies to project design and system management.
Aligning to Quality of Life (QOL)
MnDOT recently completed extensive market research where Minnesotans defined what quality of life means and how transportation contributes to it. MnDOT learned that some key quality of life factors are linked. For example, Minnesotans identified Transportation, Employment, Education, Environment and Housing as related QOL factors.
The CIMS process will incorporate this market research by asking MnDOT partners to consider quality of life factors when describing what they envision for a corridor.
In addition, MnDOT is inviting state agencies to help drive the conversation and share their expertise related to these contributing factors to quality of life along the corridors.
Toward Zero Deaths
Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths initiative uses a combination of proven safety strategies – the four E’s – to drive the number of fatalities on Minnesota roads down to zero. The four E’s are:
- Emergency Medical and Trauma Services
CIMS is an opportunity to apply Minnesota’s TZD approach at a corridor level.
Suite of Lower Cost, High Benefit Strategies
Examples of lower cost, high benefit strategies that may be applied to corridors throughout the state:
A 2+1 road design has a continuous three-lane cross section with alternating passing lanes. Traditionally, two lanes travel in one direction and one lane in the other; this design usually alternates through a stretch of highway.
A Super Two highway is a road design where a periodic passing lane is added to a two-lane rural highway to allow passing of slower vehicles and the dispersal of traffic. A Super Two may take different forms, including:
- A 4-foot-wide buffer area with rumble strips that provides errant driver recovery space
- A 12-foot-wide buffer area that provides recovery space as well as turn lanes
Reducing risk at intersections:
A number of strategies exist to reduce risks at intersections. Some are considered Reduced Conflict Intersections which take away high-risk actions, such as making a left turn from a side-street, and instead allow drivers to make a left turn using two lower-risk actions. For example, to make a left turn onto a 4-lane road, drivers would first make a right turn, travel a short distance, then move into a left turn lane where they can make a U-turn and proceed toward their desired direction. In some instances, U-turns can be made at adjoining intersections or through an existing interchange.
MnPASS Express Lanes
MnPASS is a cost-effective strategy for managing congestion, using existing road capacity to reduce travel times on some of the busiest, most congested roads. MnPASS benefits Minnesota taxpayers by providing:
- Travel choices and a safe, reliable and predictable travel time
- Additional highway capacity when it is needed most, during rush hours
- A system that moves more people at a lower cost than regular lanes
- Revenue to operate, maintain and improve the MnPASS system