Managing Congestion

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CongestionNOACA staff is working to establish policies concerning congestion management; specifically defining acceptable levels of congestion and prioritizing congestion mitigation strategies.

Sources of Congestion Include:

  • Too much traffic for the available physical capacity to handle
  • Traffic incidents
  • Work zones
  • Bad weather
  • Special events
  • Poorly timed traffic signals

Congestion Mitigation Strategies Include:

  1. Add capacity to the transportation system:
    • Add capacity to the transit system
    • High occupancy vehicle (HOV)/High occupancy too (HOT) lanes
    • Increasing capacity of non-freeway corridors
    • Increasing intercity freight rail capacity to reduce truck use of highways
    • Remove bottleneck
  2. Operate existing capacity more efficiently:
    • Enhance Access management
    • Anticipate and address special events that cause surges in traffic
    • Enhance freight management
    • Convert streets to one-way operations
    • Faster and anticipatory responses to traffic incidents
    • Geometric improvements to roads and intersections
    • Identify weather and road surface problems
    • Improve management of work zones
    • Increase efficiency of interchanges
    • Increase transit accessibility
    • Optimize the timing of traffic signals
    • Provide travelers with information on travel conditions
    • Provide real-time information on transit schedules and arrivals
    • Regulate the flow of traffic entering freeways (metering traffic onto freeways)
    • Restrict turns at key intersections
  3. Encourage congestion reducing strategies: 
    • Encourage non-motorized commuting
    • Encourage flexible work hours
    • Encourage transit use
    • Encourage ridesharing
    • Encourage telecommuting 

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