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Congestion Management Process

A Congestion Management Process (CMP) is a systematic approach to address congestion in order to reduce its impacts on the movement of people and goods. A CMP should provide the region with a process to:

  • identify the location, extent, duration, and causes of recurring and non-recurring congestion
  • evaluate the impacts of congestion;
  • identify strategies to reduce congestion; and
  • evaluate implemented strategies.

Federal law requires metropolitan areas with a population exceeding 200,000 (such as the Baltimore region) to develop a CMP. BMC and the BRTB work with transportation professionals and decision makers to implement the CMP.

Current CMP Activities:

In major metropolitan regions it is not possible or even desired, to eliminate all traffic congestion. Some congestion is the result of vibrant social, business, and community activity, so a region would likely not want to eliminate all congestion because doing so would likely adversely affect the region. The overall goal of the CMP, then, is to take a broad approach to reduce excessive recurring and non-recurring congestion, use existing system capacity as efficiently as possible, increase system reliability, and always seek to improve safety. BMC/BRTB work on a variety of CMP projects/programs.

Congestion Analysis Bottleneck Reports

One of the tools used to track congestion and inform solutions to our regional challenges are the Congestion Analysis Reports, which are prepared each quarter and each year.

Online Traffic Count Dashboard

Developed in 2019, this dashboard provides traffic volume and classification counts throughout our modeling area.

Holiday Travel Tips

BMC has been publishing holiday travel tips since 2016 for Memorial Day Weekend, July 4th, Labor Day Weekend, and Thanksgiving Day. The tips are developed in consultation with the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) and provide recommendations for the best time to get on area roads.

Online CMP Analysis Tool

The CMP Analysis Tool is an interactive map that visually displays congestion data such as the most recent congested locations as well as transportation project data. This tool helps identify the top corridors for more in-depth analysis and serves as input into the project prioritization process.

CMP Consultant Project

As developed by U.S. DOT, there are eight steps in the congestion process. BMC is working with a consultant to update the region’s CMP. The updated CMP will support the CMP Appendix of Maximize 2045.

The steps of the CMP are listed below along with links to current actions and anticipated updates:

 

 

Regional congestion management objectives

Congestion management objectives define what the region is seeking to achieve, they will support the region’s overall vision and goals as laid out in Maximize 2045. In addition, congestion management objectives can go beyond reducing traffic congestion to supporting other broad considerations such as increasing network reliability, and improving multimodal performance, accessibility, safety, and travel options. The congestion management objectives are currently being developed.

Define CMP Network

The CMP network is being updated as part of the CMP project. The CMP network will be identified by geographic boundaries as well as the system components including roads, transit network, and freight network. The identified network will be monitored to assess operation. The CMP network map will be posted when available.

Multimodal performance measures

The multimodal performance measures developed for the CMP support the performance measures defined in Maximize 2045. The following items will be considered when developing the CMP performance measures:

  • Use screening measures, with additional measures for identified congested locations.
  • Define different levels of performance that are acceptable in different circumstances (Identify different thresholds based on location, facility type, and/or timeframe)

The CMP performance measures will be posted when available.

Approach to collect data and monitor system performance

The CMP project will include the development of a data collection and management plan that includes recommendations to support the performance measures. This plan will identify:

  • what data is needed
  • how and where data will be collected and stored
  • what data is desired but not available
  • how often it will be collected and by whom
  • accuracy levels and data formats
  • how data should be analyzed for reporting and monitoring purposes

The Data Collection and Management Plan will be posted when available.

Congestion Analysis Reports , have been developed quarterly since 2013. This work will continue and annual reports will be developed also, starting in 2018. The bottleneck reports will be integrated into the Data Collection and Management Plan.

Approach to analyze congestion problems and needs

The CMP project will include the development of a Congestion Analysis Plan to develop a process to analyze areas of congestion. The congestion analysis plan will detail how to identify performance deficiencies in the CMP network to identify both recurring and non-recurring congestion issues. The congestion analysis bottleneck reports will be one source to identify congestion. The Congestion Analysis Plan will be posted when available.

Approach to identify congestion management strategies to address problems and needs

The CMP project will include the development of a Congestion Analysis Plan to develop a process to analyze areas of congestion. The congestion analysis plan will detail how to identify performance deficiencies in the CMP network to identify both recurring and non-recurring congestion issues. The congestion analysis bottleneck reports will be one source to identify congestion. The Congestion Analysis Plan will be posted when available.

Approach to establish an implementation schedule and identify possible funding sources

The CMP project will include recommendations for implementing the CMP in the region, including:

  • description of the roles that each stakeholder agency plays in addressing congestion
  • framework for how to integrate the CMP into the region’s planning efforts, including the long-range transportation plan and Transportation Improvement Program
  • recommendations for sources of funding for congestion management strategies
  • recommendation for how often to update the CMP

The implementation plan will be posted when available.

Approach to evaluate the effectiveness of implemented strategies

CMP Project: The CMP project will include the development of an approach to evaluate the effectiveness of CMP strategies that are implemented in the region.

Before/after studies: In an effort to strengthen the process of evaluating the effectiveness of CMP strategies, BMC staff identified several projects in the region as candidates for further analysis.

The idea is to find projects with a focus on relieving congestion that either have been implemented recently or are scheduled to be implemented in the near future. In this way, staff can look at the traffic conditions before the improvements were implemented compared to the conditions after the improvements are in place.

BMC staff have looked at the before and after conditions for several recently implemented projects on the MD 22 corridor in Harford County. These projects involve improvements to the intersection of MD 22 and Old Post Road and the intersection of MD 22 and Beards Hill Road. Our analysis shows significant improvement in the reliability of westbound travel on MD 22.