“Traffic congestion can be frustrating and an everyday fact of life. “

Traffic congestion can be frustrating and an everyday fact of life.  MPO’s with populations greater than 200,000 (like the Lexington Area) are required by federal law to have a Congestion Management Process (CMP) to monitor congestion and travel reliability.  There is also increased emphasis on measuring system performance and the effectiveness of congestion reduction efforts.

Per federal law, the CMP is 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 through the use of travel demand reduction and operational management strategies.”

The MPO established its Congestion Management Committee (CMC) two decades ago to advise the MPO in regard to congestion management issues.  Solutions developed through the CMP and CMC are implemented through existing resources or included in the MPO’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan or Transportation Improvement Program for future funding and implementation.

Members of the CMC include transportation professionals from federal/state/local governmental agencies, interested citizens, and private consulting companies.  The CMC meetings are held six times a year on the 2nd Wednesday of even-numbered months 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 these meetings and present their questions, suggestions and ideas.

The MPO staff with the direction of the CMC members has completed a CMP Overview document 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.

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

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): Planning for Operations – U.S. Government 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.