Intelligent Roadway Information System

Action Plans

Select View ➔ Plans and Schedules menu item

Action plans provide a way to automate and coördinate control of devices, such as DMSs and ramp meters.

Action plans have a phase, which is chosen from a preconfigured set. It can be changed by an operator, or at specified times with time actions.

Each phase can be associated with any number of DMS, ramp meter, camera, or beacon actions. Advanced plans can have many phases, each with separate actions.

Plan Phases

The basic phases are deployed and undeployed. Additional phases can be added on the Plan Phases tab. Each phase must have a unique name. By specifying Hold Time, a transient phase will advance automatically to the Next Phase. Hold Time must be a multiple of 30 seconds.

DMS Actions

DMS actions have an associated hashtag to determine which signs are affected by the action. The action happens when the corresponding action plan phase is selected. The message pattern indicates which message is activated. If flash beacon is selected, the sign's internal beacon will also be activated. Message priority determines the priority of messages created by the action.

DMS Action Tags

Some MULTI-like tags are supported in message patterns used by DMS actions. These tags are interpreted by IRIS before sending the message to the DMS. NOTE: they are only usable in action plan messages - not operator-selected ones.

Tag Description
[cg ] ClearGuide data
[exit ] Exit ramp backup
[feed ] Msg-Feed message
[pa ] Parking area availability
[slow ] Slow traffic warning
[standby] Standby messages
[ta ] Scheduled time actions
[tt ] Travel time estimation
[tz ] Toll zone pricing
[vsa] Variable speed advisory

Meter Actions

A ramp meter action causes the meter to begin metering when the specified phase is selected. When the plan is set to any other phase, the meter will shut off.

Camera Actions

A camera action causes a specific preset to be recalled when the specified phase is selected.

Beacon Actions

A beacon action can cause a beacon to be deployed when the action plan is set to the specified phase. When the plan is set to any other phase, the beacon will shut off.

Time Actions

A time action automatically changes the phase at specified dates and times. These events are scheduled using either a day plan or a specific date (but not both). A time of day must also be specified (HH:MM in 24-hour format). Whenever the scheduled time occurs, the action plan will be changed to the specified phase.

Time Action Tag

The time of a scheduled time action can be displayed in DMS messages using DMS actions within the same action plan. A [ta ] action tag in the message pattern will be replaced with the appropriate value. It has the following format:

[ta dir,format ]


  1. dir: Chronological direction
    • n: Next scheduled time action after the current time
    • p: Previous scheduled time action before the current time
  2. format: Time format pattern (h a if omitted)

The format parameter is specified using a Java DateTimeFormatter pattern, summarized in this table:

Symbol Meaning
h hour (1-12)
H hour of day (0-23)
mm minute (00-59)
a AM or PM
E weekday (e.g. Mon)
EEEE full weekday (e.g. Monday)
d day of month (1-31)
M month number (1-12)
L month (e.g. Jan)
LLLL full month (e.g. January)

The default pattern, h a, would format a time at 2 in the afternoon as 2 PM. To include minutes, h:mm a could be used instead.

Example 1

ROAD WORK[nl]STARTING AT [tan,h:mm a]

If next scheduled time action is at 2:30 AM, the resulting message will be:


Example 2


If the time is between two scheduled time actions, 4 AM to 10 PM, the message will be:


Day Plans

A day plan is a set of days which can be used for scheduling. Day plans are specified with a table of day matchers. The matchers for a day plan determine whether a specific day is included in the plan or not. Day matchers flagged as holidays are excluded. Day matchers are specified by Month, Day, Week and Weekday. Any day which matches all specified fields will match. Shift is only required for days like Black Friday (Fourth Thursday of November +1).

Manual Control

On the Plan tab of the client interface, users can manually change the phase of an action plan. If the user is in the list specified by the action_plan_alert_list system attribute, an email will be sent to the address specified by the email_recipient_action_plan system attribute.


Whenever an action plan phase changes, a time-stamped record is added to the action_plan_event table. These events are purged automatically when older than the value of the action_plan_event_purge_days system attribute.