The Congestion management Process (CMP) for the national capital region
This section of the CLRP constitutes the Congestion Management Process (CMP) for the National Capital Region under the metropolitan planning requirements of the SAFETEA-LU federal transportation legislation, and associated regulations.
Background: the CMP Technical Report and Congestion Dashboard
The development of the CMP component of the CLRP has been supported by extensive technical analysis and detailed transportation systems usage data. This detailed information is contained in a technical report that is separate from the CLRP, and may be viewed or downloaded from the following link:
The CMP component of the CLRP is further supported by the availability of National Capital Region Congestion Reports (NCRCRs) on a web-based Congestion Dashboard. The dashboard provides quarterly updates on congestion and delay in the region, enabling ongoing trend tracking and review of recent history regarding the region's congestion.
What Is the CMP?
The Congestion Management Process (CMP) is a systematic process in Transportation Management Areas (TMAs) that provides for safe and effective integrated management and operation of the multimodal transportation system. The process is based on a cooperatively developed metropolitan-wide strategy of new and existing transportation facilities.
Congestion is the level at which transportation performance is no longer acceptable due to traffic interference resulting in decreased speeds and increased travel times. As our region continues to experience dynamic economic and demographic growth, congestion remains a primary focus of the TPB.
What Are the Major Components of and Considerations for the CMP?
The CMP requires a systematic approach. The TPB's CMP is part of the regional transportation plan and includes the following:
Methods to monitor and evaluate system performance
Objectives and performance measures
Data collection and analysis
Identification and evaluation of anticipated performance and expected benefits of Congestion Management strategies, including demand management, traffic operational improvements, public transportation improvements, ITS technologies, and additional system capacity, (where necessary)
Assessment of the effectiveness of previously implemented strategies
Proposed single-occupant vehicle (SOV) capacity-increasing projects must show that congestion management strategies have been considered. In addition, the regional transportation plan will consider the results of the CMP.
The Need for a CMP
Congestion Management as a Goal of the TPB
As the Washington region continues to grow, congestion management will remain a primary goal of the TPB. Over the years the TPB has implemented a number of demand and operational management strategies to address congestion. The TPB is committed to documenting these strategies in an enhanced structured process to get maximum benefit from new and existing transportation systems.
The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), enacted August 10, 2005, required that metropolitan transportation planning processes include a CMP, similar to the Congestion Management System (CMS) requirements under previous federal transportation bills. In addition, the March 2006 Federal certification of the TPB process suggested that the region's CMP be enhanced. The TPB develops the CMP in concert with long-range transportation plan development.
The Transportation Planning Board (TPB) is committed to management of the existing and future transportation system through the use, where appropriate, of demand management and operational management strategies. These strategies, when taken as a whole, form a large portion of the CMP.
The CMP addresses the SAFETEA-LU requirements, as laid out in federal regulations (Source: §450.320(a), Metropolitan Transportation Planning, Final Rule, Federal Register, February 14, 2007). These regulations state that:
"The transportation planning process shall address congestion management ... through a process that provides for safe and effective integrated management and operation of the multimodal transportation system ... based on a cooperatively developed and implemented metropolitan-wide strategy ... of new and existing transportation facilities ... through the use of travel demand reduction and operational management strategies."
The CMP is important to the Washington region for many reasons. First, it provides for safe and effective integrated management and operation of the multimodal transportation system. Compiling information on congestion throughout the region can help determine priorities for regional transportation projects. The CMP takes a metropolitan-wide, systematic approach, in that congestion is examined over the entire metropolitan region, and the process is integrated into the Long Range Transportation Plan.
Both new and existing transportation infrastructure is part of the CMP. This is important in determining which existing facilities could be improved upon to reduce congestion, and what congestion management strategies are appropriate for new facilities. Travel demand reduction strategies, such as alternative commute programs, growth management, and HOV facilities and value pricing, as well as operational management strategies such as identifying non-recurring congestion, ITS technologies, and capacity increases (where necessary), are potential strategies the CMP considers for new and existing facilities.
The CMP is important when considering single-occupant vehicle (SOV) capacity-increasing projects in the Long-Range Plan. Capacity increasing projects are sometimes necessary to eliminate bottlenecks, make safety improvements, and implement traffic operational improvements. However, in many instances, travel demand management or operational demand management strategies can be implemented in lieu of, or in conjunction with, capacity increase. Capacity-increasing projects are considered as a metropolitan-wide strategy, for new and existing transportation facilities.
The results of the CMP are important to the long-range planning process. The CMP, including the locations and extent of congestion, along with which strategies are most successful, helps guide decision makers to prioritize areas for current and future projects. The CMP is important to long-range planning to help determine priorities for implementation and funding.