Congestion and System Performance

Quality of Life, Economic Gains Tied to Region’s Mobility Success

The OKI region’s quality of life and economic competitiveness are closely related to the degree the transportation system is able to provide an acceptable level of mobility.

Congestion is the level at which transportation system performance is no longer acceptable due to traffic interference. The level of acceptable system performance will vary by type of transportation facility, location within the region and time of day.

The level of acceptable system performance depends upon transportation and development goals for the region, and it reflects public perception of traffic interference. This traffic interference may be recurring or non-recurring congestion.

Recurring congestion is caused by consistently excessive travel demand, as compared to available roadway capacity. Sometimes, poor signal timings, poor access-management and roadway geometric deficiencies contribute to reduced capacity.

Non-recurring congestion occurs due to traffic incidents, adverse weather or road construction. Physical bottlenecks account for about 40 percent of all congestion, nationally. The remaining congestion is the result of traffic incidents (25 percent), poor weather (15 percent), work zones (10 percent), poor signal timing (5 percent) and special events (5 percent).

The importance of congestion is reflected in federal transportation rules requiring a Congestion Management Process (CMP) in metropolitan areas, and maintained by OKI every four years. The CMP provides for safe and effective integrated management and operation of the multimodal transportation system; and this results in performance measures and strategies that can be reflected in the metropolitan transportation plan (MTP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

National Perspectives on Congestion

Congestion in the OKI region can be viewed in a national context to see how we stand when compared with other major U.S. metropolitan areas.

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute has been documenting the growth of congestion levels in the nation’s urban areas since the 1980s. Their mission has been to document mobility trends and highlight numerous issues associated with roadway congestion. In their most recent Urban Mobility Information report, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute uses findings drawn from traffic speed data collected by INRIX on urban streets and highways, along with highway performance data from the Federal Highway Administration. When using annual delay per auto commuter to determine congestion, the report reveals that, in 2017, the Cincinnati Urban Area was considered the 29th most congested urban area in the U.S.

The Texas A&M study reflects the average condition of roadways in the entire urban area, not specific facilities and locations. The OKI CMP attempts to better pinpoint congestion problems within the urban area. It also provides a level of analysis that allows for more informed decision-making in the transportation planning process.

Congestion Management Network

The focus of the Congestion Management Process is on the movement of people and goods over interstates, principal arterials and other transportation facilities. These segments serve as the backbone to the region’s transportation network, and provide connectivity among the region’s transportation facilities, intermodal facilities, and activity centers.

The OKI Congestion Management Network is composed of all facilities on the National Highway System (NHS), along with major roadways and all other routes determined to be essential to regional mobility and continuity. The NHS is a network of strategic highways, including the interstate highway system and other roadways serving major transport facilities such as airports, ports, and rail or truck terminals. In the OKI region, the network consists of more than 2,516 miles and carries 55 percent of regional traffic.

Congestion Performance Measures

Congestion performance measures are parameters that characterize conditions on the multimodal transportation system in the region. Performance measures can identify the intensity and extent of congestion, measure accessibility and reliability of the system, evaluate freight movement, and address mobility via transit, bicycle and pedestrians.

This information can be used to track changes in mobility over time, identify subareas or corridors with mobility problems, and identify causes of potential hindrances to mobility. It also provides information to decision-makers and the public as part of the transportation project selection process. As transportation improvements and strategies are implemented over time, these measures aide in evaluating the effectiveness of mobility enhancement strategies for the movement of people and goods. Appropriate performance measure are clearly understood, not too difficult or costly to collect, and sensitive to the impact of congestion mitigation strategies. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requires that State departments of transportation (DOT) and MPO’s, including OKI, incorporate five performance measures into the CMP.

The National Performance Management Research Data Set (NPMRDS) is utilized to calculate several of the federal performance measures and additional performance measures. This data set provides a historical archive of speed and average travel times by calendar day in 15-minute increments covering the National Highway System (NHS). INRIX data is used to provide speed and travel time data on those roadways not covered by the NPMRDS.

Federal CMP Performance Measures

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Level of Travel Time Reliability – LOTTR

Assesses the consistency or dependability of travel times from day to day or across different times of the day on the Interstate and Non-Interstate (NHS) systems. FHWA defines LOTTR as the percent of person-miles on the Interstate and NHS that are reliable. LOTTR is calculated as the ratio of the longer travel times (80th percentile) to a “normal” travel time (50th percentile), using NPMRDS or equivalent data.

 

Level of Truck Travel Time Reliability – LOTTTR

FHWA defines Level of Truck Travel Time Reliability (LOTTTR) as the percent of truck-miles on the Interstate System that are reliable. LOTTTR is calculated as the ratio of the longer travel times (95th percentile) to a “normal” travel time (50th percentile), using NPMRDS or equivalent data.

Peak Hour Excessive Delay Per Capita

Traffic congestion is measured by the annual hours of peak hour excessive delay (PHED) per capita on the NHS. The threshold for excessive delay is based on the longest travel times (20 miles per hour or 60 percent of the posted speed limit travel time, whichever is greater) compared with the average travel time on each individual road segment, and is measured in 15-minute intervals.

Percent of Non-Single Occupancy Vehicle Travel

Measurement of non-SOV travel within the Cincinnati urbanized area. This includes travel via carpool, van, public transportation, walking, bicycling, or telecommuting.

Total Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Emissions

Measures total reduction in on-road mobile source emissions including Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from CMAQ-funded projects within nonattainment and maintenance areas. The emissions are presented as an estimated single total amount for each emission type in the OKI region based on all projects having an air quality impact.

OKI continues to incorporate several additional congestion management performance measures within the CMP to further assess congestion and identify areas for transportation improvement. These additional performance measures are listed below:

Additional CMP Performance Measures

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Travel Time Index-TTI

The ratio of the travel time during the peak period to the time required to make the same trip at free-flow speeds. As an example, a value of 1.3 indicates a 20-minute free flow trip requires 26 minutes during the peak period.

Intersection Delay

The average time needed for a vehicle to pass through the intersection during AM and PM peak periods. (See CMP for more information)

Intersection Level-of-Service

Defined in terms of a weighted average control delay for the entire intersection. Control delay quantifies the increase in travel time that a vehicle experiences due to the traffic signal control as well as assigns a surrogate measure (A-F) for driver discomfort and fuel consumption. (See CMP for more information)

Peak Period Travel Times between Major Destinations

The travel times are average weekday PM peak hour travel times for 2021. Times are for a route on the shortest interstate highway path between destinations and only include travel to the section ending nearest the destination. Staff selected well known “benchmark” locations that are tracked over time.

Incident Clearance Time

The average time for clearing disabled automobiles and crash incidents provided by ODOT’s Ohio Traffic Incident Management (OTIM) from the time the incident was first observed by ODOT operators.

Existing Conditions

Level of Travel Time Reliability (LOTTR)

The variability or change in congestion on a day-to-day basis provides a measure of reliability. Recurring congestion is generally predictable, regularly occurring, and typically caused by excess demand compared to the capacity of the system. On the other hand, non-recurring congestion causes unreliable travel times and is caused by transient events such as traffic incidents, weather conditions, work zones, or special events. This non-recurring form of congestion is often the most frustrating for travelers.

The Travel Time Reliability map shows the maximum travel time reliability by direction for selected corridors during three weekday time periods (6-10 a.m., 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., 4-8 p.m.) and one weekend time period (6 a.m. – 8 p.m.). Highly reliable periods are shown in green and the least reliable periods are shaded red.

When roadway segments within each interstate corridor are weighted together to determine an overall LOTTR in 2021, the I-71/75 northbound corridor in Kentucky between I-275 and the Ohio Line and the Ohio corridors of I-75 southbound between the Ohio River and I-74, I-75 northbound between I-74 and OH-562, I-71 southbound between I-75 and OH-562, and I-275 eastbound between I-71/75 and I-471 are all considered to be unreliable because each has one unreliable segment during at least one time period throughout the day.

The Interstate Unreliable Miles (LOTTR) table presents the total mileage evaluated for level of travel time reliability on the interstate system along with total unreliable miles and percentage of unreliable miles for each year from 2018 to 2021. The table Most Unreliable Interstate Miles (LOTTR) presents the most unreliable interstate roadway segments in 2021.

When roadway segments within each non-interstate NHS corridor are weighted together to determine an overall LOTTR in 2021, the Kentucky corridors of KY-17 southbound between the Ohio Line and I-275, KY-8 westbound between I-71/75 and City of Newport, and KY-1120 east and westbound between I-71/75 and I-471 are considered unreliable. In Ohio, the corridors of OH-125 between I-275 and Brown County Line, Freeman Avenue southbound between US-50 and I-75, Gest Street east and westbound between US-50 and State Avenue, 8th Street east and westbound between Freeman Avenue and State Avenue, Mosteller Road northbound between Sharon Road and I-275, Sharon Road east and westbound between I-75 and US-42, US-27 north and southbound between OH-129 and the Indiana State Line, 6th Street westbound between Broadway and Central Avenue, and 5th Street eastbound between Main Street and I-75 were considered to be unreliable.

The table Non-Interstate Unreliable Miles (LOTTR) presents the total mileage evaluated for level of travel time reliability on the non-interstate NHS system along with total unreliable miles and percentage of unreliable miles for each year from 2018 to 2021. The Most Unreliable Non-Interstate NHS Segments table presents the most unreliable segments on the non-interstate NHS in 2021.

In 2021, 92.2 percent of person-miles traveled on the interstates and 89.7 percent of all non-interstate person miles traveled on the NHS network were considered reliable (LOTTR).

Level of Truck Travel Time Reliability Values

The map shows truck travel time reliability by direction on all interstate corridors during three weekday time periods (6-10 a.m., 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., 4-8 p.m.), one weekend time period (6 a.m. – 8 p.m.), and one overnight time period (8 p.m. – 6 a.m.). Data is for average weekday travel in 2021. Highly reliable periods are shown in green and the least reliable periods in red.

When looking at interstate segments, data analysis indicates that I-71/75 northbound between US-42 and Pike Street in Kentucky has the least reliable time period (4-8 p.m.) as well as being the most unreliable segment during all time periods in 2021.

With an LOTTTR index of 1.48 (ratio of the maximum LOTTTR for each road segment to the total miles on the OKI interstate network), 77.6 percent of OKI freight network miles were considered reliable in 2021. This is an increase of 16.5 percent of reliable interstate miles over 2018 data. The  Level of Truck Travel Time Reliability Index table presents for the years 2018 to 2021.

Peak Hour Excessive Delay Per Capita

The extent of traffic congestion is measured by the number of transportation system users that are affected by congestion. FHWA measures this by the annual hours of peak hour excessive delay (PHED) per capita on the NHS. Hourly traffic volume, hourly delay, vehicle occupancy, and length of each roadway segment are considered when developing PHED per capita.

PHED in the Cincinnati urbanized area was 6.4 in 2021, an improvement of 21.8 percent over 2018 PHED (8.2). I-71/75 northbound between Exit 189 (Kyles Lane) and Exit 191 (12th Street) had the most daily peak hours of excessive delay at 4,088, in 2021.

Percent of Non-SOV Travel

The measurement of non-single occupancy vehicle (SOV) travel within an urbanized area recognizes investments within the Cincinnati region that increase multimodal solutions and vehicle occupancy levels as strategies to reduce both criteria pollutant emissions and congestion. Modes of transportation recognized are carpool, vanpool, public transportation, walking, bicycling, and telecommuting. This measure utilized data from the 2017-2021 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.

Total CMAQ Emissions

The 2015 Cincinnati ozone area includes portions of the Ohio counties of Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren; and the Kentucky counties of Boone, Campbell, and Kenton. On June 9, 2022, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that the Cincinnati, Ohio area had attained 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and has been redesignated to a maintenance area. In July, 2023, EPA found that the Kentucky portion of the Cincinnati area had attained 2015 ozone NAAQS and has been redesignated to a maintenance area. With those new designations the OKI region is still required to maintain 2015 ozone standards and complete air quality conformity for both the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). Ozone is formed through chemical reactions induced when sunlight reacts with volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx).

Forty-six CMAQ-funded transportation projects within the OKI region from 2017-2021 provided quantitative emissions benefits. These projects included traffic operations and safety improvements; roadway relocations and widenings; new turn lanes; bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements and additions; and bus replacements. These 46 projects were estimated to reduce daily VOC and NOx emissions by 77.06 kg and 459.76 kg, respectively.

 

Travel Time Index

The relative severity of travel congestion is measured by the ratio of the peak travel time to the travel time at free-flow speed. A travel time index (TTI) of 1.2 means travel speeds are 20 percent slower than free flow for a given time period. TTI measures how much congestion is present for a given road segment. Congestion was determined as a segment having a TTI of 1.5 or greater or a minimum of one minute of delay. While only one contiguous bottleneck occurs during the morning (6-9 a.m.) weekday peak period, several occur during the evening (4-7 p.m.) weekday peak period.

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Morning Bottlenecks (6-9 a.m.)

  • Northbound sections of I-71/75 between Kyles Lane and the Ohio River experienced a bottleneck during AM periods.
  • Non-freeway locations on the NHS also experienced high AM congestion. In Ohio, Dalton Avenue southbound between Western Hills Viaduct and 8th Street, Eggleston Avenue northbound between Court Street and Pete Rose Way, Freeman Avenue northbound between Dalton Avenue and Gest Street and southbound between I-75 and Gest Street, Gest Street eastbound between OH-264 and Freeman Avenue, Mosteller Road northbound between Sharon Road and I-275, OH-122 east and westbound between US-42 and OH-48, OH-125 north and southbound between South Main Street and OH-222, OH-32 westbound between Old OH-74 and Glen Este-Withamsville Road, sections of southbound OH-4 between Butler County Line and OH-73 and between Indian Meadows Drive and High Street, OH-4 northbound between Paddock Road and I-75 and north and southbound from Galbraith Road to Riddle Road, Reading Road northbound between Broadway Street and Eden Park Drive, Sharon Road east and westbound between US-42 and I-75, US-27 north and southbound between Main Street and Butler County Line, US-27 eastbound between High Street and Millville Avenue and northbound between I-74 and Colerain Avenue, and US-42 north and southbound between Kemper Road and Cornell Road. In Kentucky, KY-17 northbound between Kyles Lane and Madison Avenue, southbound sections of KY-17 between 4th street and 12th street and between Kyles Lane and I-275, KY-237 southbound between Camp Ernst Road and US-42 and northbound between KY-20 and I-275, US-27 southbound between 3rd Street and 5th Street and eastbound between 10th Street and 11th Street, and northbound Taylor-Southgate Bridge. In Indiana, US-50 westbound from IN-56 to IN-62 experienced a bottleneck during peak AM periods.
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Evening Bottlenecks (4-7 PM):

  • Brent Spence Bridge southbound was considered a bottleneck with a delay of 46 seconds and TTI above 1.5.

  • In Kentucky, the northbound sections of I-71/75 between 12th street and the Ohio River, and I-471 southbound between US-27 and I-275 were considered bottlenecks.

  • In Ohio, southbound sections of I-71 between Taft Road and Liberty Street, sections of I-75 southbound between the Western Hills Viaduct and US-50, I-75 northbound between OH-562 and Towne Street were considered bottlenecks.

  • Non-freeway locations on the NHS also experienced high PM congestion. In Ohio, 5th Street eastbound between US-50 and Sycamore Street; 8th Street eastbound between State Avenue and Freeman Avenue; Eggelston Avenue northbound from Pete Rose Way to Court Street, Freeman Avenue southbound between I-75 and Gest Street; Gest Street eastbound from OH-264 to Freeman Avenue; Mosteller Road northbound between Sharond Road and I-275 and southbound between Crescentville Road and Kemper Road; OH-122 east and westbound between US-42 and OH-48 and westbound between the Butler County Line and Breiel Boulevard; northbound sections of OH-125 between Spring Grove Road and 10 Mile Road, between I-275 and Eight Mile Road, and between Witt Road and Five Mile Road; southbound sections of OH-125 between Spring Grove Road and 10 Mile Road, between Glen Este Withamsville Road and Eight Mile Road, and between Five Mile Road and Salem Road; OH-126 eastbound between Kenwood Road and I-71; OH-129 east and westbound between OH-4 Bypass and Erie Boulevard; OH-32 westbound between OH-74 and Glen Este-Withamsville Road; northbound sections of OH-4 between Galbraith Road and Northland Boulevard, between I-275 and Crescentville Road, between OH-4 Bypass and Symmes Road, between OH-126 and OH-4 Bypass, and between Liberty Fairfield Road and OH-747; southbound sections of OH-4 between I-75 and Northland Boulevard, between Crescentville Road and OH-4 Bypass, between Holden Boulevard and Symmes Road, between OH-129 and OH-4 Bypass, and between Liberty Fairfield Road and OH-747; northbound sections of OH-4 between Galbraith Road and Northland Boulevard, between OH-4 Bypass and Symmes Road, between OH-129 and OH-4 Bypass, and between Liberty Fairfield Road and OH-747; OH-4 Bypass southbound between OH-4 and OH-129; OH-73 southbound between Reinartz Boulevard and OH-4; Sharonville Road eastbound between I-75 and US-42; southbound sections of OH-4 Bypass between OH-4 and Port Union Road and between OH-129 and OH-4; northbound sections of OH-4 Bypass between Oh-4 and Port Union Road; OH-562 westbound between Paddock Road and I-75; OH-73 southbound between Reinartz Boulevard and OH-4 and northbound between Main Street and OH-48; Sharon Road east and westbound between I-75 and US-42; northbound sections of US-27 between Blue Rock Street and OH-126, between Compton Road and I-275, between CSX Railroad and OH-73, and between Main Street and Indiana State Line; northbound sections of US-42 between I-275 and Kemper Road; US-42 southbound between I-275 and Sharon Road; and US-50 eastbound between Freeman Avenue and I-75. In Kentucky, KY-1120 westbound between US-27 and I-71/75 and east and westbound between I-471 and US-27, KY-16 northbound between Decoursey Avenue and Madison Avenue, KY-17 southbound between 4th Street and 12th Street and between Kyles Lane and I-275, KY-17 northbound between 4th and 5th Street and between Sterrett Avenue and I-275, KY-18 eastbound between I-71/75 and North Bend Road, KY-18 westbound between I-71/75 and KY-842 and between Aero Parkway and North Bend Road, KY-212 northbound between KY-236 and I-275, KY-237 north and southbound between US-42 and Camp Ernst Road and northbound between Burlington Pike and I-275, KY-8 northbound between I-471 and I-71/75 and southbound between I-471 and Scott Boulevard, KY-9 between John’s Hill and I-275, US-27 southbound between the Ohio River and 11th Street and northbound between 10th and 11th Street and the Taylor Southgate Bridge, and US-42 southbound between I-71/75 and KY-237.

Congestion also occurs outside of the peak hours and can vary in intensity within the hour. The duration relates to the amount of time the congested conditions persist before returning to an uncongested state.

There were seven road segments in the OKI region that experienced at least 12 consecutive hours of weekday congestion in 2021, including portions of I-71/75 in Kentucky and portions of I-75, US-27, Freeman Avenue, and SR-4 in Ohio.

Peak Period Travel Times between Major Destinations

To examine travel times within the OKI region, major destinations including the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), downtown Cincinnati, Eastgate shopping area, Northern Kentucky University, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Kings Island and Sharonville are chosen for analysis. PM peak travel times are used because PM is typically more congested. The travel times are average weekday PM peak hour travel times for 2018 and 2021. Times are for a route on the shortest interstate highway path between destinations and only include travel to the section ending nearest the destination, therefore a small amount of additional travel time, not reflected here, may be necessary to reach the destination.

In 2021, the average PM peak period travel time between major destinations was 20 minutes and in 2018 it was 21 minutes.

Incident Clearance Time

ODOT’s Ohio Traffic Incident Management (OTIM), is the state’s traffic incident management program comprised of ODOT, local and state law enforcement agencies, Fire, EMA, and towing and recovery services. Traffic incident management is the process of coordinating resources to detect, respond to, and clear traffic incidents as safely and quickly as possible to reduce the impacts of crashes and congestion.

In the 2nd quarter of 2023, ODOT logged over 10,000 traffic incidents in the OKI region, with an average incident clearance time of 56 minutes. That is three minutes less than the average incident clearance time for all of 2019 (59 minutes).

Summary of Performance Measures and the Cost of Congestion

A summary of data for OKI’s Congestion Management Network (CMN) as it relates to several performance measures and a comparison to previous data, if available, is summarized as follows:

In 2021, 92.2% of person-miles traveled on the interstates and 89.7% of non-interstate person miles traveled on the NHS network were considered reliable (LOTTR).

The percent of non-SOV travel in the OKI region in 2021 was 21.5%.

The average travel time between major destinations during PM peak period in 2021 was 20 minutes. In 2018, the average travel time was 21 minutes.

Average incident clearance time, as collected by ODOT for the 2nd quarter 2017, is 128 minutes. This is the average time for clearing disabled automobiles and crash incidents on the “OHGO” system from the time the incident was first observed by ODOT operators. This is greater than the same period last year.

In 2021, 77.6% of the 448.8 freight network miles in the OKI region were considered reliable.

From 2017-2021, 46 CMAQ-funded projects were estimated to reduce daily VOC and NOx emissions by 77.06 kg and 459.76 kg, respectively.

Average incident clearance time, as collected by OTIM for the 2nd quarter 2023, is 56 minutes. This is the average time for clearing disabled automobiles and crash incidents from the time the incident was first observed. This is greater than the same period in 2022.

In addition to the value of time, the delay cost of wasted fuel in the Cincinnati urban area for 2020 was estimated at $90,000 per day. Cost components from the 2021 Urban Mobility Report were used, including value of gasoline and diesel. This equates to nearly $33 Million per year.

Total peak hours of excessive delay in the urbanized area in 2021 on the NHS was calculated as 33,355 hours per day with annual hours of excessive delay per capita as 6.4. Total peak hours of excessive delay for trucks on the National Freight Network is 23,050 hours per day.

The average Travel Time Index during peak PM period in 2021 on the NHS network was 1.10.

Using a value of time of $20.17 an hour for non-commercial travel and $55.24 an hour for commercial travel (truck travel), the daily cost of peak hour delay was $1.7 million in wasted time in 2020.

17.6% of the daily vehicle miles traveled operating under congested conditions.

Potential Congestion Management Strategies

OKI’s CMP has identified a number of strategies to combat congestion. Strategies can be broadly divided into four categories: travel demand management, traffic operational improvements, public transportation improvements and highway capacity expansion. Many of the recommended projects in this Plan will contain congestion management strategies.

 

Travel Demand Management (TDM) Strategies Can Help to Provide Travelers with More Options and Reduce the Number of Vehicles or Trips During the Peak Periods

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Travel Demand Management (TDM)

TDM strategies can help to provide travelers with more options and reduce the number of vehicles or trips during the peak periods.

Congestion pricing
Motorists pay for the use of certain roads and bridges. Motorists may face usage fee schedules ranging from peak-only fees to fees that vary by time of day, facility or level of use. Congestion pricing includes the use of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes where SOV motorists may pay a variable fee to use a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane.

Parking management
Traveler information on availability of parking spaces, reduced parking fees for high-occupant vehicles or by time of day. Communities can also consider the implementation of timed and paid parking along or near high congestion corridors as well as additional parking enforcement resources.

Carpools and Vanpools
Ridesharing in carpools or vanpools reduce single-occupant vehicle (SOV) travel. A carpool generally involves from two to five people sharing a ride in their personal cars. Vans are typically leased through a van pool provider and can accommodate up to twelve people. Public and private parking operators can provide preferred or discounted parking for SOV alternatives..

Livability measures
Development policies that support increased accessibility to bicycle, pedestrian, scooters and transit can reduce demand for travel by automobile. This is sometimes achieved through policies that encourage new transit-oriented designs or reinvestment in existing urban centers.

Incorporate bicycle facilities
Optimizing use of existing streets by incorporating bicycle facilities in the form of striped bike lanes, shared use paths, or side paths to facilitate road-sharing and encourage bicycle use. Expansion of bike-share programs also encourage bicycle use.

Employer Programs
Work schedules influence commuter travel patterns. In designing work schedules, employers influence peak period travel volumes and employee inclination to use transit, carpools, and other SOV alternatives. Other employer strategies such as allowing flexible scheduling or telecommuting encourage their employees to reduce peak period travel or the amount of travel to and from the work site.

Freight efficiency
Increasing intercity freight rail or port capacity to reduce truck use of highways.

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Transportation System Management and Operation (TSMO) and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)

New system and corridor approaches to optimizing mobility, including but not limited to:

Improved signalization
Applying coordinated and/or adaptive signal systems as exemplified by closed loop and centralized systems. This may also include signal priority for transit or emergency vehicles. The benefits of improved signal systems are commonly measured by reductions in travel time, vehicle stops, delay, fuel consumption, and emissions, and increases in travel speed.

Expansion of traveler information systems
Information on travel times and incidents provided in real-time to the traveler via dynamic message signs, a personal electronic device or telephone 511 system. ODOT and KYTC currently operate dynamic message signs, information thru website or personal electronic device and a 511 system for a large portion of the region’s interstate highway system.

Active traffic management
An approach for dynamically managing and controlling traffic demand and available capacity of transportation facilities, based on prevailing conditions, using one or a combination of real-time and predictive operational strategies. When implemented together and alongside traditional travel demand management strategies, these operational strategies help to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the transportation facility and result in improved safety, trip reliability and throughput. Components of active traffic management may include ramp metering, speed harmonization, temporary shoulder use, queue warning, dynamic merge control, construction zone management, dynamic truck restrictions, dynamic rerouting and traveler information, dynamic lane markings or automated speed enforcement

Ramp metering
Metering is an effective way to improve traffic flow on interstates without adding additional lanes. The meter allows traffic to enter the freeway at a rate dependent on the conditions of the freeway traffic. Motorists may be delayed at the meter, but freeway speeds and overall travel times are improved.

Access management
Controls the design and operation of driveway and street connections onto a highway. Control is achieved by public plans or policies aimed at preserving the functional integrity of the existing roadway system.

Improve intersection geometry
Involves increasing the radius of corners to facilitate the movement of trucks and buses through an intersection. High volume locations may require a complete rebuilding of the intersection or interchange with new geometric solutions such as a continuous flow intersection (CFI) or a single-point urban interchange (SPUI).

Traffic calming
Consists of physical design and other measures, including narrowed roads, speed humps, or removing travel lanes (road diet) put in place on roads for the intention of slowing down or reducing motor-vehicle traffic as well as to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Incident management
Consists of a planned and coordinated multi-disciplinary process to detect, respond to, and clear traffic incidents so that traffic flow may be restored as safely and quickly as possible. Effective incident management reduces the duration and impacts of traffic incidents and improves the safety of motorists, crash victims and emergency responders. ODOT currently provides incident management for a large portion of the region’s interstate highway system.

Intersection turn lanes
The addition of new turn lanes can provide greater capacity for the intersection without modifying the basic geometry of the intersection. This category may also include restricting certain turning movements.

Eliminate at-grade rail crossings
In a few areas of the region, at-grade rail crossings reduce traffic flow on major arterials. The separation of rail and roadway travel improves congestion and safety.

Work zone management
Improved traffic management in and around work zones.

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Public Transportation Improvements

Expansion of transit service
Congestion on a particular facility or corridor may be alleviated with the addition of new fixed-route bus service, expansion of existing service, or new rail transit service.

New or expanded Park and Ride facilities or transit centers
Park-and-ride facilities allow for transfers between SOV’s to carpools, vanpools or transit service. Transit centers are facilities where transfers can be made between automobiles and buses, between bus routes, between bus routes and/or rail transit lines, or between different rail transit lines.

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
BRT is an integrated system of transit measures that work together to significantly improve bus service. These measures include frequent service, a simplified route structure, limited stops, exclusive bus lanes, branding of vehicles and stop facilities, enhanced stops or stations, special vehicles, off-vehicle fare collection and real time passenger information.

Reserved bus travel lanes including bus-on-shoulder
Travel lanes where only public transit buses are permitted provide the opportunity to avoid known traffic bottlenecks and increase the attractiveness of bus travel. Bus-on-shoulder refers to locations where public transit buses are permitted to use the shoulder of expressways when traffic slows.

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Highway Capacity Expansion

Additional travel lanes
Deficient roadway capacity is a major contributor to congestion. Additional roadway capacity is needed in many areas to keep-up with increased travel demand.

Elimination of bottle necks
Bottle necks occur where short sections of the roadway are of an insufficient width or number of lanes to accommodate the travel demand. Freeway interchange design deficiencies can also be considered a bottleneck.

Center turn lanes
Center turn lanes provide an area where vehicles can move out of the thru lanes and pause while making a left-hand turn.

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