Most modernization projects are developed based on traffic engineering analysis. Modernization projects reduce delays and increase safety by more efficiently operating the highway system and by accommodating short-term traffic growth. An example of a modernization project is the installation of left turn lanes and traffic signals at an intersection. The left turn lane on the main highway will eliminate the back-up of traffic behind a stopped vehicle waiting to turn left into the side street, while the traffic signal will allow traffic on the side street to safely enter the high traffic highway.
In 1990, Lake County began using a computerized Capacity Analysis Records System (CARS) to target potential modernization projects. An update to CARS was completed in 2006. The integration of CARS into Lake County PASSAGE is underway.
Until 2008, traffic crash reports were received from local police agencies before transmittal to IDOT. The LCDOT processed the crash reports in the county’s Accident Information Management System (AIMS). IDOT has migrated to a new electronic crash report system with the police agencies and the county has followed the example of DuPage County in moving to install compatible software that will access the IDOT electronic data. It will still be necessary for the LCDOT to obtain the actual crash reports themselves for more complete analysis and a second new state law provides for IDOT to provide this data to local agencies. IDOT is in the process of consideration of how to provide scanned crash reports to local agencies which request them.
Projects which accommodate bicycle travel are also included in the modernization category. The county’s implementation of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) elements in Lake County PASSAGE is in the Modernization category. The county’s fledging efforts to provide for the countywide coordination of paratransit service is also in the Modernization category.
Modernization projects are normally given second priority preference.