Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
The Congestion Management Process serves an essential purpose within the overall transportation planning and programming process by enabling decision-makers at MPOs, local governments, and state agencies to base their decisions on a clear analytical understanding of congestion in a region. The CMP is a critical element of an objectives-driven, performance-based planning approach, and the integration of the CMP data, objectives, and outcomes with the MTP and TIP allows these to become an integral part of project decision making. Consequently, the issues analyzed as part of the CMP should be reflective of the broad objectives of the MPO, including livability.
The CMP regulations and guidelines allow considerable flexibility in how individual MPOs can choose to implement their processes. This has allowed MPOs to tailor their CMPs in various ways to both reflect regional needs and priorities and acknowledge time and budget constraints. This guidebook outlines eight actions that are considered to be at the core of the CMP process. There are many different ways in which individual MPOs choose to implement these actions, and each MPO may not consider each action to be a discrete step in its process, but each action serves an important role and must be addressed in the CMP in some way. The eight actions are:
MPOs around the country have each developed unique methods of implementing the CMP. Some have integrated the CMP with the long-range planning process to the extent that the CMP is not identifiable as a standalone process. Some have aligned the CMP closely with the TIP, with CMP performance measures directly influencing project prioritization and funding. Some MPOs have developed CMP objectives and performance measures that are closely tied with issues of livability and quality of life, while others focus more on traditional congestion measures. Some MPOs develop extensive written documentation, while some others maintain online data and information resources. All of these processes, developed with individual needs and resources in mind, represent appropriate examples of CMP process development.