The Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act - A Legacy for the Users (SAFETEA-LU) stipulated the requirement for the use of the Congestion Management Process (CMP) in Transportation Management Areas (TMA). The CMP builds upon more than a decade of experience with planning for congestion management, including the Congestion Management Systems first introduced in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), as well as the accumulated knowledge of how greater availability of data, enhanced tools for data management and modeling, expanded use of intelligent transportation systems, and opportunities for regional cooperation and collaboration can improve the active management of the regional transportation system.
The change in name from Congestion Management Systems reflects a substantive shift in perspective and practice to address congestion management through a process that provides for effective management and operations and enhanced linkage to the planning process, and to the environmental review process, based on cooperatively developed travel demand reduction and operational management strategies as well as capacity increases.
The CMP uses a number of analytic tools to define and identify congestion within a region, corridor, and activity center or project area, and to develop and select appropriate strategies to reduce congestion or mitigate the impacts of congestion. The FHWA has conducted several workshops and technical outreach events that address the CMP. In addition, FHWA has funded projects that developed guidebooks on the subject of the CMP.