Congestion Management Process

Since the 1880s there have been three drastic eras in transportation regulation in the United States.  There was the Initiation Era, the Positive Era, and the Intermodal Era.

We are now entering the digital age of transportation management, which includes the government’s use of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO).  This in a sense is how the government uses a systematic breakdown of traffic patterns in metropolitan areas to optimize efficiency.

In any city that has a population larger than 200,000 requires some form of management by a government Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).  A main component of a successful MPO is a Congestion Management Process (CMP). A CMP allows a monitor to make a determination on what is causing the congestion and then make alternative strategies to battle the congestion.  When a CMP is implemented in a new area it will identify congestion locations and evaluate current methods and strategies being used.

A CMP feeding into a successful Metropolitan Planning Organization will lead to increased efficiency in any metropolitan city.  CMP’s are a growing area of transportation regulation and focus for the Department of Transportation.

Atlanta has implemented a CMP in their metropolitan area and seen great results.  They focused on reducing congestion peak hours through a 24 hour period; they reduced it from 9 total hours to 4 hours.  They achieved this by making alternate routes well known, High occupancy vehicles, and making people aware of peak hours and peak routes.

Sources: http://www.planning.dot.gov/documents/briefingbook/bbook.htm#5BBhttp://www.trb.org/Publications/PubsCriticalIssuesinTransportation.aspx

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