October & November 2013
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Congestion Management Process

In metropolitan areas of 200,000 or more, planning agencies are required to monitor and evaluate measures to reduce traffic congestion. (The population of the TMACOG transportation management area which the Census Bureau defines as the Toledo Urbanized Area is 507,643.) TMACOG completed a Congestion Management Process report in August for review by ODOT and the Federal Highway Transportation Administration.

Congestion is studied to identify over-crowded locations, determine the causes of congestion, and develop strategies to mitigate it. Strategies are then studied to determine their effectiveness. Congestion on area roadways is rated from A to F with A being the least congested and F being areas where traffic is heavy and where accidents may happen more often.

Locations recommended for further study are; Sylvania Ave. at Talmadge Rd., the Maumee-Perrysburg bridge, Monroe St. between Harvest Ln. and Cheltenham Rd., the Anthony Wayne Bridge (the high-level bridge), Erie St. at Monroe St., the Anthony Wayne Trail between Western Ave. and Erie St., and the I-475 off-ramp at Talmadge Rd.

For some of these locations construction has already been planned to alleviate congestion. The 81-year-old Anthony Wayne Bridge will be closed for a complete renovation for up to two years with closure tentatively scheduled to begin in late winter-early spring 2014. The I-475 off-ramp at Talmadge has recently been lengthened to accommodate exiting vehicles.

There are many tools other than construction that can be employed to reduce congestion: increased use of public transportation, improved signage and signaling, access management (limits on curb cuts and driveways), and freeway incident management programs are some strategies. Keeping roads in good repair also keeps traffic moving smoothly and safely.

Federal regulations require that the congestion management plan include performance measures. For the TMACOG region the measurables include:
Reduce cost of freeway-related delays in the urban planning area by 30 percent by 2020.
Increase freeway lane miles in the urban planning area by 5 percent by 2020.
Develop a regional bottleneck reduction program in the urban planning area by 2016.

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Copyright © 2013 Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments