Congestion Management Process
Federal law requires metropolitan areas with a population exceeding 200,000 (like the Baltimore region) to develop a formal Congestion Management Process (CMP), which includes:
- Developing congestion management objectives;
- Establishing measures of multimodal transportation system performance;
- Collecting data and monitoring system performance to define the extent and duration of congestion and to determine the causes of congestion;
- Identifying congestion management strategies;
- Establishing an implementation schedule and identifying possible funding sources for each strategy; and
- Evaluating the effectiveness of implemented strategies.
BMC and the BRTB work with transportation professionals and decision makers to implement the CMP.
This kind of systematic approach to congestion management can help the region reduce the effects of traffic congestion on the movement of people and goods.
Eliminating all traffic congestion may not be possible, particularly in fast-growing regions. Moreover, a region may not want to eliminate all congestion if doing so would adversely affect economic vitality, community livability, or bicycle/pedestrian access. It is important to set appropriate objectives and strategies for congestion management that support regional goals.
Congestion analysis reports help inform solutions to our regional challenges.
The Cost of Congestion
Traffic congestion costs everyone time and money, and adversely impacts safety. According to the 2017 State Highway Mobility Report published by the Maryland Department of Transportation, commuting times in Maryland are the second longest in the country. The cost of congestion on just two interstates in our region - I-95 and I-695 - in one month - May 2018 - is over $24 million. In this case, congestion is defined as travel speeds that are at least 20 miles per hour under free flow speed. [Source: Speeds derived from vehicle probe data courtesy of a partnership with the University of Maryland CATT Lab and I-95 Corridor Coalition.]