MOVELV: Congestion Management Process
George G. Kinney, AICP, Director of Transportation Planning
The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) recently prepared an update of its Congestion Management Process (CMP). The CMP, required by federal regulations, is a performance-based approach to managing regional roadway congestion by identifying key congested locations and recommending targeted strategies and actions for reducing congestion at these locations. CMP strategies emphasize maximizing travel capacity on existing infrastructure through demand reduction and operational management strategies, as opposed to simply increasing roadway capacity.
Work on this project involved identifying priority roadway corridors for assessment and preparing appropriate recommendations to address congestion on each corridor. The LVPC used its regional travel demand model to assess projected levels of congestion on freeways and arterial roads for the base year of 2017 and then for the year 2040. The 2040 projection assumes that projects included in the MOVELV: Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and MOVELV: Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) will be completed.
The LVPC then selected priority corridors based upon factors including whether the corridor is part of the National Highway System, carries a high percentage of truck traffic, and serves areas designated for future development by the Lehigh Valley Comprehensive Plan. For each priority corridor, the LVPC prepared a summary corridor profile that includes information on roadway characteristics and operations, land use and development, and past and currently programmed improvement projects. These profiles provided the basis for identifying and assessing potential congestion mitigation strategies.
The main types of recommended strategies include:
• Intelligent transportation systems
• Traffic signal modifications
• Intersection improvements
• Roadway realignment
• Access management
• Public transit
• Pedestrian and bicycle improvements
The LVPC intends to use its congestion management planning to assist in its ongoing efforts to manage the efficient and safe flow of the increasing volumes of truck traffic in the region. As such, as part of the work on this project, the LVPC identified and assessed the locations of key freight generators relative to the priority corridors. The recommended strategies and actions take into account the need to accommodate truck flows in order to sustain economic growth in the region.
In summary, the CMP is an important component of the LVPC’s programs for planning and programming transportation investments in the Lehigh Valley region, and the CMP update provides information that will be useful in these future work activities.
The draft CMP is available at the LVPC website at http://www.lvpc.org/pdf/2016/CMP_Report.pdf.