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Congestion Management


Congestion management is the application of strategies to improve transportation system performance and reliability by reducing the adverse impacts of congestion on the movement of people and goods.  A Congestion Management Process (CMP) is a systematic and regionally-accepted approach for managing congestion that provides accurate, up to date information on transportation system performance and assesses alternative strategies for congestion management that meet both state and local needs.  The CMP is intended to move these congestion management strategies into the funding and implementation stages.

Please refer to the CMP Mitigation Toolbox in order to assess the causes of vehicle delay and make plans to remedy them. The Toolbox was made as a reference for communities in the CMRPC region to reference. The Toolbox incorporates past CMP recommendations that were included in previous CMP progress reports. Most suggested recommendations pertain to specific intersections or to a section of roadway containing multiple intersections. There are also some general suggestions that staff has commonly made for intersections and roadways.


The following maps and data tables are included in the most recent Congestion Management Process (CMP) summary report.  There are various types of transportation data that is collected and analyzed to help create projects that reduce congestion.  The types of data included in the CMP are:  Travel Time & Delays, Turning Movement Counts (TMC), Park and Ride Facilities, Localized Bottlenecks, Bicycle & Pedestrian counts, WRTA Fixed Route Transit, Traffic Volumes, Safety, Accessibility, and Travel Time Reliability.

As an example, on the right is a map of the CMRPC Region traffic volume flows.

Bottleneck Reduction

A Traffic Bottleneck is defined by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as a localized constriction of traffic flow, often on a highway segment that experiences reduced speeds and inherent delays, due to recurring operational influence or a nonrecurring impacting event. Further, a bottleneck is an area of poor Level of Service (LOS) or high Volume to Capacity (V/C) ratio which ends at a point, has a recurring cause, and, maybe most importantly, exhibits a return to free flow speeds after the bottleneck end point.

FHWA further indicates that “a bottleneck has congestion, but congestion is often more than a bottleneck”, citing an example of a wide highway with a narrow bridge that restricts traffic flow on a regular basis. It should also be noted for differentiation purposes that a road that has a high V/C or poor LOS for an extended length, or for its entire length, is not a bottleneck, but rather is considered a chronically congested roadway, where demand routinely exceeds capacity.

Localized Bottleneck Reduction data and information is summarized and included in the CMP Progress Reports.

Municipalities and governmental entities are allowed to contract directly with CMRPC in accordance with MGL Chapter 30B Sections 1 (b) (3) and (b) (9). Contract with CMRPC, contact CMRPC’s Executive Director, Janet Pierce at jpierce@cmrpc.org

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