District 4 - Traffic Operations

The District 4 Division of Traffic Operations consists of 306 technical and administrative staff in nine offices. This division is responsible for planning, designing, and conducting analyses of highway safety and traffic operations improvements; traffic management activities and operations; and issuance of encroachment permits on over 715 centerline miles of freeway and expressways, and 700 centerline miles of conventional highways.

Office of Transportation Management Plans (TMPS) And Operational Strategies

coordinates and facilitates the preparation, development and implementation of TMPs throughout transportation improvement project's life cycle; from initiation to project completion. 

TMPs, per State and Federal mandates, are the required documents to be included as part of the PSE package before the beginning of the advertising process within the Caltrans competitive bid process. TMPs are required for all planned construction, maintenance, and encroachment permit activities on the State Highway System to minimize work-related traffic delays while reducing overall duration of work activities. Additionally, the Office coordinates and manages Corridor-based integration of TMPs along major corridors and planned special events.

The Office manages significant and complex projects utilizing technical expertise within the Division of Traffic Operations and consultant services to compile/validate traffic data, employs micro and macro traffic models for various projects analyses, and also engages in the development of cost analyses, constructability, and traffic impact mitigation aspects of the project and decision making process for major closures and activities with the involvement of all stakeholders.

In order to address congestion, trip reliability, and safety through better system management and new technology, this Office provides guidance and establishes priorities for traffic operations strategies, that support corridor and system-wide transportation improvements, for Corridor System Management Plans (CSMP) and Corridor Plans (CP). The focus is on the implementation of projects identified, working with district functional units to ensure that projects are programmed, designed and constructed, in coordination with adjoining Caltrans Districts, while also promoting local and regional transportation partnerships.

Office of Electrical Systems

is responsible for the technical development and implementation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) also known as Transportation Management Systems (TMS) used to monitor and manage the State Highway System.  TMS elements include traffic monitoring stations, ramp meters, Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTVs), Changeable Message Signs (CMSs), Highway Advisory Radio (HARs), Extinguishable Message Signs (EMSs), communications systems, Active Traffic Management (ATM), and roadway warning systems.  The office also manages the infrastructure of the Transportation Management Center (TMC), establishes ITS standards and architectures, and performs research and development on emerging technologies and software applications.  The Office of Electrical Systems partners with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), cities, regional agencies to share transportation data and implement and operate Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) for unified traffic operations.

Office of Electrical Design and Operations

 designs and/or reviews all electrical system projects in the District including traffic signals, highway lighting, ramp metering, Changeable Message Signs (CMSs) Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs), Highway Advisory Radios (HARs), fog horns, navigational and warning lights on bridge structures, planned improvements in toll-bridge and tunnels, power distribution and toll collection supervisory control systems. The Office is also responsible for the operation of over 1000 signals in the District. In addition, the Office develops software for signals and signal system operations.

Office of Highway Operations

is tasked to improve mobility of people and goods on the State Highway System.  This office collects and maintains the District's traffic census and inventory data, conducts traffic operational investigations, responds to complaints regarding traffic operations from the public as well as state and local officials, identifies operational improvement projects, performs all traffic operational analyses for capital projects and reviews traffic operational analyses for projects sponsored by other local agencies.  This office supports the development and implementation of Transportation Management Plans (TMP) by providing lane closure hours, detour routes, assessment of delay impacts, and construction support.  This office monitors and reports freeway traffic conditions and conducts detailed congestion analyses using data from the Caltrans Performance Measurement System (PeMS), INRIX, and probe vehicles. The Office of Highway Operations is the lead for Bay Area Managed Lanes system, comprised of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes and Express Lanes, to improve passenger movements.  Working in close coordination with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP), this office is responsible for developing and implementing the Bay Area Managed Lanes master plan and for conducting routine monitoring of its operational throughput and occupancy violation rates.  This office also reviews IGR/CEQA documents, encroachment permits and coordinates with the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) on the operation and proposed improvements for all seven state-owned toll bridges, including FasTrak lanes.

Office of Encroachment Permits

 processes permit applications and issues permits to applicants for highway improvements to construct approved facilities or to conduct specified activities. The Office’s primary objectives are to protect, maintain and enhance the quality of the State Highway System during and after permitted work, ensure the safety of both the highway users and the permit applicant, ensure that the proposed encroachment is compatible with primary uses of the State Highway System, protect the State’s investment in the highway facility and document temporary uses of highway right of way for special events, filming, etc.

Office of Traffic Safety

is primarily involved in assessment and analysis of traffic safety on state highways. The office conducts traffic safety investigations and devises corrective measures.  It addresses inquiries and complaints from public, local agencies & elected officials.  The office initiates Safety and ADA improvement projects and administers district’s SHOPP Safety and Mobility-ADA Programs.  This office provides collision analyses and traffic safety recommendations during project development, and reviews pavement delineation, stage construction & traffic handling plans during design. The office maintains the district’s sign logs and prepares traffic signing/detour plans.  It conducts speed zone surveys, reviews and approves encroachment permits for traffic items.  It reviews and comments on CEQA/IGR pertaining to traffic safety and operational issues.  This office coordinates data requests and updates for the Traffic Accident Surveillance and Analysis System (TASAS) and maintains the district’s accident records.  This office participates in Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT).  This office also provides services for district claims and legal support in depositions and in court in tort liability actions.

Office of Traffic Systems

is responsible for the reviewing, planning, and development of the Transportation Management Systems (TMS) for the District. The office prepares and develops Project Initiation Documents (PIDs) and Project Reports (PRs) for the implementation of TMS elements such as traffic monitoring stations, ramp metering systems, Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs), Changeable Message Signs (CMSs), and Highway Advisory Radios (HARs). The office also reviews projects (e.g. freeway widening and interchange modifications) for opportunities to install new and update/minimize impacts to existing TMS elements. The office helps develop intelligent transportation strategies in cooperation with our transportation partners and operates and maintains over 646 ramp meters in the Bay Area.  The office also develops, maintains, operates and monitors usage at the district’s 50 Park and Ride Lots.

Office of Traffic Management

provides services in the following areas: 1) Transportation Management Center (TMC) staff monitor real-time systemwide traffic flow and operations, including recurrent congestion monitoring, highway incidents response by activating Transportation Management System infrastructure that include changeable message signs (CMSs), highway advisory radios,  and CCTVs to help provide advisory and detour information to motorists. The TMC facility operates 24/7 and is staffed by three regional partner agencies -- the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC); 2) The Traffic Management Team (TMT) staff supplement TMC activities by providing field support through the use of portable CMSs and other field activities; 3) The  Lane Closure System (LCS) staff coordinate and approve lane closure requests for construction, maintenance and permits activities on the freeways and highways in the Bay Area to minimize traffic impacts to the traveling public; and 4) The Truck Services  staff communicate with the California Highway Patrol, trucking industry, two Caltrans Regional Transportation Permits Offices (located in Sacramento and San Bernardino) and various other functional units to coordinate and help alleviate impacts on commercial vehicle operations arising from various highway construction and maintenance activities, and also initiate projects that improve truck routing and goods movement and traffic flow and operations.  This also includes providing accurate, up-to-date data on temporary and permanent changes in vertical and horizontal clearances on the highway system which may impact routing of extra-legal loads or designation as part of the National Network.

The Office of TMS Asset Management

is responsible for managing the District’s Transportation Management System (TMS) assets, and their operational performance. Included in these responsibilities are identifying program repair and restoration needs for both improving system performance and addressing end-of-life replacements, developing and managing TMS projects/service contracts to address the program needs, ensuring appropriate funding, and managing support resources through the project development and contract administration phases of these projects/service contracts. The Office of TMS Asset Management also assists in the development of the statewide Strategic Plan and annual Business Plan for the Traffic Operations Program and the assessment and development of the long-term plan for enhanced Asset Management in Traffic Operations. This office is also responsible for the Division’s Administration activities, procurement and invoice management.