Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
We plan to keep you moving!

Congestion Management Process (CMP)

What is a CMP?

picture of traffic congestionA CMP is a process that monitors transportation facilities for traffic congestion problems and seeks to implement projects, plans and programs to reduce congestion. The CMP is intended to be a systematic, transparent way for transportation planning agencies to identify and manage congestion using performance measures and to direct funding towards projects and strategies that are most effective for alleviating congestion. The United States Department of Transportation describes the results of a CMP as “…presenting a systematic process for managing traffic congestion and providing information on transportation system performance.”

Previous federal funding legislation contained the provision for the development of a CMP. A CMP is required in metropolitan areas with population exceeding 200,000. These metropolitan areas are known as Transportation Management Areas (TMAs). Federal requirements also state that in all TMAs, the CMP shall be developed and implemented as part of the metropolitan planning process. A CMP should include alternative strategies for alleviating traffic congestion and enhancing the movement of persons and goods to meet state and local needs. In order to produce an effective CMP, a data collection and monitoring system, a range of strategies for addressing congestion, performance measures or criteria for identifying when action is needed, and a system for prioritizing which congestion management strategies would be most effective should be included.

The current transportation bill Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) retains the CMP requirement, focusing especially on enhanced monitoring and reporting of congestion and reliability. In addition, MAP-21 features a new federal emphasis on performance measurement. Under MAP-21, MPOs will work with state and public transportation officials to set system performance targets.

Although the Alamo area is not considered one of the most congested regions in the country, it has been identified as having one of the fastest growing congestion levels. The average citizen in San Antonio spends more than 38 hours in traffic each year, an increase of 58% over the past decade (Urban Mobility Report, Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), 2014). Congestion is a major contributor to air quality concerns as it causes each driver to burn fuel inefficiently and reduces the overall efficiency of the area wide transportation system. With non-attainment of air quality standards imminent for this area, congestion management strategies and transportation control measures must be applied effectively toward relieving a substantial portion of these concerns. Table 10.1 and Figure 10.2 compare San Antonio’s congestion measures with other major Texas cities.

At the national level, based on the data, traffic congestion in U.S. cities has remained relatively stable in recent years and continues to underscore the link between traffic and the economy, showing declines in traffic congestion since 2008.

Goals & Objectives

The following goals and objectives support the vision of an accessible, safe, and efficient surface transportation system that integrates convenience, affordability and improved air quality.

Goal 1: Increase the efficiency of the existing transportation system and decrease traffic congestion through coordination of traffic operations and development of strategies to reduce travel demand at both the regional and corridor levels.

  • Objective 1.1: Develop and implement operational improvements for the management of traffic along major travel corridors, including incident management, intersection improvements, construction coordination, access management, signal re-timing programs, and freight management.
  • Objective 1.2: Establish and enforce new policies for the effective management of growth, vehicle usage, and parking, where appropriate.
  • Objective 1.3: Continue and extend existing community programs and campaigns to reduce vehicle trips through ride sharing, work scheduling, telecommuting, and trip planning.
  • Objective 1.4: Continue the implementation of motorist travel information systems such as TransGuide.

Goal 2: Reduce congestion through a project implementation process that encourages the use of other modes of transportation.

  • Objective 2.1: Extend public transportation services, including frequency, expanded route coverage, passenger amenities, and ridership incentives.
  • Objective 2.2: Encourage implementation of a continuous pedestrian system and on and off-road bicycle facilities, emphasizing connectivity with other modes.
  • Objective 2.3: Establish and use congestion management based criteria for project selection, to include added capacity projects, right-of-way preservation, and operational improvements.
  • Objective 2.4: Continue efforts with TxDOT, the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (ARMA), VIA Metropolitan Transit, the Advanced Transportation District (ATD), and others to finance major congestion relief projects including passenger rail service, high capacity transit (including bus rapid transit, streetcar, light rail, and busways), and roadways..

For More Information:

Allison Blazosky pictureAllison Blazosky, AICP

Regional Transportation Planner

(210) 230-6911

See Also:

Congestion Chapter of Mobility 2040 (.pdf) | Congestion Maps