Traffic congestion is an everyday fact of life, and it’s getting worse every day. A Congestion Management Process (CMP) – formerly known as a Congestion Management System (CMS) is a required process for Transportation Management Areas (TMAs). The TMA is defined as an urbanized area with a population over 200,000 (as determined by the latest decennial census). The Lexington Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) planning area includes Fayette and Jessamine Counties. The two counties are located in the heart of the Bluegrass Region of Central Kentucky. The 2000 Census indicated that the population of the two counties was 299,553.

Under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), a “Congestion Management Process” or CMP is a mandated process and defined as “a systematic approach for managing congestion through a process that provides for effective management and operation, based on a cooperatively developed and implemented metropolitan-wide strategy, of new and existing transportation facilities eligible for funding under titles 23 and 49 U.S.C Chapter 53 through the use of travel demand reduction and operational management strategies.” The CMP is required to be developed and implemented as an integral part of the metropolitan transportation planning process. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) identified the following eight (8) CMP components to be addressed:

1. Develop regional CMP vision, mission, goals and objectives
2. Identify area, corridors, or roadways of application
3. Define system or network of interest
4. Develop and select performance measures
5. Institute system performance monitoring
6. Identify, evaluate, and select CMP strategies
7. Implement selected strategies and manage transportation system
8. Monitor strategy effectiveness and document CMP activities.

To comprehensively address the CMP and its components and to keep a focus on serving the citizens, commuters, and travelers in the MPO planning area and reducing congestion, the MPO established a Congestion Management Committee (CMC) to advise the MPO staff in regard to the congestion management directions. The mission of the CMC is to coordinate the congestion management activities in helping alleviate transportation congestion recurring in the MPO planning area. The CMC members include transportation professionals from federal, state, and local governments and agencies. The CMC members also include interested citizens and private consulting companies.

The CMC meetings are held approximately eight (8) times a year on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, at 1:30 pm, in the 7th floor conference room in the LFUCG Phoenix Building, 101 East Vine Street in Downtown Lexington. All professional staff and citizens who are interested in transportation planning and congestion management activities are welcome to attend the CMC meetings and present their questions, suggestions, and ideas. Coordinated discussions are encouraged at the CMC meetings.

The MPO staff with the direction of the CMC members has completed a CMP Overview document. The CMP Overview was developed to describe the principal components of the congestion management process. It is intended to provide a basic understanding of the MPO’s congestion management process and the integrated relationship among the congestion management process, the transportation improvement program, and the metropolitan transportation plan. The CMP will not eliminate congestion, but will instead slow the rate at which the congestion increases.

Transportation planning and Congestion management affect almost every aspect of our lives. We use the transportation system each day, to go to work and school, to visit family and friends, to shop, and to participate in recreational activities. Our transportation system is the network that connects our local and regional economies, and allows us to efficiently move people and goods from place to place. When traveling from place to place, we just have to deal with some level of traffic congestion.

Traffic Congestion Key Factors

• Time: Commute hours, School hours, or Event hours
• Location: Downtown area / Major commute arterials / Bottlenecks / Incidents
• Space: No. of usable lanes / Lane width
• Improved land use planning / Road network connectivity planning
• # of vehicle over # of riders ratio [1/1 (single occupant vehicle), 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 (car pooling),…, 1/7, 1/12 (van pooling), …, 1/30 (Bus),…]

Major Causes of Traffic Congestion

• Quantity Issue: Too many vehicles / Not enough lanes on the roads
• Nature: Season / Weather / Sun-glare
• Road Conditions: Pavement / No. of usable lanes / Construction / Re-construction
• Vehicles: Type of vehicles / Quality of vehicles
• Traffic Incidents: Collisions / Crashes / Roadside incidents, such as fire, etc.

Ways to Mitigate Traffic Congestion

• Staggered work and school hours / Telecommuting
• Public Transit: LexTran / Downtown area shuttle / Group activity vehicle
• Ridesharing: Car Pool and Van Pool Program
• Educate public: Programs for youth in schools / Safe route to school
• Encourage walking and biking within 1 to 2-mile distance

Through the implementation of the CMP, the MPO and CMC aim to use existing and future transportation facilities effectively and efficiently through reducing transportation demand, linking innovative planning and traffic operations, and implementing transportation improvement programs.

CMP Document Links:

Congestion Management Process Overview                                                      Community-Wide Congestion Management Study Update (2007) 
Man o’ War Boulevard Traffic Study (2007)
Congestion Management Study (2005 Phase II)
Congestion Management Study (2004 Phase I)

List of Other CMP References and Resources:

An Interim Guidebook on the Congestion Management Process in Metropolitan Transportation Planning - This interim guidebook document showcases opportunities to utilize an objective driven, performance-based approach to enhance the quality of CMP. This interim guidebook document, along with the M&O interim guidebook document, were finalized in late 2008 after FHWA and FTA conduct a wide-ranging outreach program in Summer 2008 to showcase the guidebooks and receive further input on this approach.

Congestion Management Process (CMP) Innovations: A Menu of Options - This document was prepared for the New York State Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (NYSMPOs). The document provides a menu of options for metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to consider in implementing a Congestion Management Plan (CMP).

Congestion Management Process (CMP): Planning for Operations – U.S. Dot Congestion webpage.

Congestion Management Toolbox – KYTC Planning, Congestion webpage.

Getting More by Working Together
– Opportunities for Linking Planning and Operations – This resource guide is designed to help planning and operations managers understand the value of working together and realize the benefits of pursuing management and operations strategies at the regional scale.

Management & Operations in the Metropolitan Transportation Plan: A Guidebook for Creating an Objectives-Driven, Performance-Based Approach - This interim guidebook document showcases opportunities to utilize an objectives-driven, performance-based approach to enhance the quality of M&O in the planning process. This interim guidebook document, along with the CMP interim guidebook document, will be finalized in the Fall of 2008 after FHWA and FTA conduct a wide-ranging outreach program in Summer 2008 to showcase the guidebooks and receive further input on this approach.


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